London Lions v Surrey Scorchers
Date; 23 November 2019
Location; Copper Box Arena
Livestats; FIBA LIVESTATS
BBL Cup South Group.
It’s the final game of the BBL South Group and the match up has thrown up a win and go on scenario as both teams need the win to progress.
The Scorchers have a 3-6 record, having won two home games, one of them being a three point thriller against the Lions and then clinging on for a nail biting one point victory in Worcester.
Those wins have given them the right to come to the last game knowing a win will dethrone the defending Champion, Lions, and propel them into a Quarter-Final in Leicester.
The Lions have worked their way through with late additions in players to a point where a thumping home win on Wednesday over the Bristol Flyers see’s them with a chance to move on and defend their title.
We caught up with Head Coach, Vince Macaulay on the enthralling encounter. “I am pleased for Coach Creon that they have battled through, the addition of Ryan Richards to their roster strengthens them immensely and has galvanised the unit. But they were already playing well with good team spirit which Creon always engenders.”
One the match ups’ he had this to say. “Listen, Tayo Ogedengbe is one of the ex- Lions players I have always wanted back on the team, I love his commitment, he represents all that’s good about British players and he is a great talent. I am not in the least bit surprised he did a demolition job on Worcester and Plymouth as that talent has always been there. That is a strong focus for us but the unit works well together so we have to pay attention to all their players and their threat from the outside. ”
Talking about his own team, “It’s no secret we area little behind of where I would want us to be at this stage, the slow start, bedding in, new players all of that coupled with the fact there is always a target on our backs mean the learning process has taken time. I know what we can do and I have seen flashes in the last few games. If we stay focussed we will be ok in any encounter and the guys know this is, in effect, the first knockout game of the BBL Cup, if we can get through then we have a chance but I expect a tough battle. Brandon and Justin are playing at a high level and now with Ali Tew joining us I feel the balance we have is so much better and closer to the system we had last season, but I see a glint in the eyes now of all my players, on Wednesday everyone played 8 minutes or more whilst the MVP only played 20, we are getting better.”
Pic; Justin Robinson, Courtesy PMG Imaging