Kosta Koufos and Sam Dekker Combine for 44 Points to Help Silence the Bristol Flyers 79-97 and Lead the Short-handed London Lions to the 2023 BBL Cup Final. New Signing Jordan Records 13 Points and 6 Assists in Taylor Made Debut Performance.
Head Coach Ryan Schmidt cleverly balanced his short-handed London Lions squad en route to a 79-97 victory and a 2023 BBL Cup finals birth.
The nine-person roster rotation, missing the likes of Ovie Soko, Luke Nelson, Miye Oni, Kareem Queeley, Zamoku Weluche and Aaron best, booked their tickets to the first showpiece final of the season, dominating several areas of the game.
The Londoners were almost unstoppable in the paint, recording 62 points compared to the Flyers' 32-point team display. On the fast break, the Lions torched the Bristolian’s transition defence to the tune of 26 points compared to the Flyer’s 10 points. The Lions depleted 4-person bench mob even edged-out Bristol’s 7 subs by 3 points, scoring 26 points versus the Flyers' 23 points.
It was an uphill battle from the tipoff and throughout the game for the South-West England locals. London claimed the first three quarters 21-32, 15-20 and 22-26, respectively and held a 25-point lead at the halfway point of the third quarter.
The Flyers attempted a fight back in the fourth period to the delight of their home fans but couldn’t close the gap to under 13 points. Tomislav “Zuba” Zubcic, who finished the game with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists, ended the fourth quarter with a dunk that put the Lions up by 18 points with 20 seconds left on the clock.
Sam Dekker contributed 20 points, 5 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks to the victory, and Kosta Koufos finished with a 24-point, 7-rebound, 3-block, 1 -steal and 2-assist tally. Debutant Jordan Taylor recorded 13 points, 6 assists, 1 steal and 1 block.
Vojtech Hruban followed his incredible performance on Friday with another one, scoring 18 points, grabbing 5 rebounds, and handing out 2 assists to help the Londoners book their tickets to the 2023 BBL Cup final.