London Lions 101-81 Esh Group Eagles Newcastle (31-16, 54-32, 75-57)
London Lions took a major step closer to the BBL Championship title with a convincing win over second-placed Esh Group Eagles Newcastle.
Vince Macaulay’s side put Friday’s loss on the road behind them to move to 22-5 with the Eagles falling to their ninth defeat of the league campaign.
The Lions were ferocious from the start, Ladarius Tabb opened the game with an Alley-oop dunk, then a steal from Justin Robinson saw Kervin Bristol swoop off a pick to slam home. The huge Copper Box crowd raised the roof. They weren’t finished there, & more unanswered points followed as the visitors trailed 11-1. An injury to Victor Moses didn’t help but they were already in a hole.
London put up 31 points in the opening quarter and led by 22 at the half on the back of some scintillating play, the passing was sublime as baskets went in from Bristol, Brandon Peel and Joe Ikhinmwin.
Wary of the Eagle’s pedigree, the Lions went just as hard to start the second half. Robinson was pulling the strings but Spencer’s marshalling of Rahmon Fletcher built the defensive effort.
The lead in the fourth peaked at 27, with every Lion getting on the floor with the crowd baying for the century a basket from Abraham Ekperuoh duly obliged. Lions winning 101-81.
Key stat – The Lions dominated on the glass, led by Tabb, as they out-rebounded Newcastle 53-35 with 20 of those on the offensive end to help provide 20 second chance points.
Game hero(es) – Tabb set the tone with a thunderous dunk on the opening possession and had 20/10 at the half before going on to finish with 32 points and 14 boards in the win. Peel and Robinson combined for an additional 38 points.
The Lions are back at home on Wednesday, but this game will be played at the University of East London Sportsdock, Bristol Flyers are the visitors and tip off is at 7.30pm, tickets available at www.thelondonlions.com
(Report; Duncan Hooper, Pic; Pat Gowdie)
Lions scorers – Tabb 32, Peel 20, Robinson 18, Spencer 12, Ikhinmwin 6, Bristol 5, Larkai 2, Guede 2, Okoro 2, Ekperuoh 2, Lockhart 0, Roberts 0.
Eagles Scorers – Kyle Williams 13, Fletcher 12, Defoe 11.