BBL Trophy, First Round
London Lions 80-74 DBL Sharks Sheffield (19-17, 36-39, 58-52)
London Lions defeated DBL Sharks Sheffield for the second week in a row to advance to the BBL Trophy Quarter-Finals.
In a battle of the top two in the BBL Championship, the Lions came out on top once again following their League win last Sunday, to continue their strong start in all competitions.
An early Lions lead in the first quarter was soon overturned as guard, Chris Alexander fired in for the Sharks, quickly notching up a pair of three pointers. Responses from Brandon Peel and Jordan Spencer closed the deficit as the home side led 19-17 at the first break.
Three triples from Alexander to start the second quarter saw the Sharks in front, as the Lions had restricted Dirk Williams it was Alexander who would go on to score 18 points in the first half as the visitors led 36-39 at the half.
The Lions came out firing in the third with a 22-13 period to take control, a 12-0 run was inspired by the mercurial Spencer who hit 10 in that phase, also finishing with 9 assists, Alexander was shackled and the Lions eased ahead 58-52 going into the fourth.
Despite a late burst from the visitors, the Lions had enough of a cushion in the fourth to see the game out. Dagger three’s from Justin Robinson and Andre Lockhart keeping them at arms length.
Key stat – Williams had a huge 30-point game at the Copper Box last week, but was held to 14 points on 28% shooting this week whilst Alexander would only add 2 points in the second half with the Lions’ defence paving the way for the win.
Peel posted a big double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Lions and Robinson added a further 20 points as the duo starred with limited minutes for Ladarius Tabb.
The Lions will see out 2018 on the road in Manchester to seek a perfect month, before returning for the first home game of the New Year on the 4th of January against the Bristol Flyers.
(Pic, Jordan Spencer courtesy, Graham Hodges, Report; Duncan Hooper)
Lions scorers – Peel 22, Robinson 20, Spencer 14, Lockhart 9, Bristol 8, Okoro 4, Tabb 2, Guede 1Larkai 0, Ekperuoh, James.
Sharks Scorers – Alexander 20, Leslee Smith 14, Dirk Williams 13 (Sharks)