London Lions
Cheshire Phoenix

After making the Final for the fourth time in the last six years, the London Lions fall short to the Cheshire Phoenix - who lift the British Basketball League Trophy in Birmingham.

Having beaten Newcastle, Leicester, Manchester and Caledonia, all roads lead to Sunday’s final where the London Lions met the Cheshire Phoenix at the Utilita Arena Birmingham.

Domestically and in Europe, the Lions have been excellent thus far this season.

Petar Božić’s team have already confirmed their spot in this season’s EuroCup Playoffs and currently sit 18 points clear at the top of the BBL Championship standings.

The obvious aim for this season is to compete for every piece of silverware. The only thing stopping London from lifting their first trophy of the season was the Cheshire Phoenix, who entered the game having fallen short in their last 10 straight matches against the Lions.

The opening quarter of the match saw 57 points scored between the two teams. Cheshire, however, scored 30 of them and held a slender lead over the Lions.

A strong drive to the rim from David Nwaba was the highlight play in what was a fast and furious opening 10 minutes in Birmingham. That same intensity remained in the second quarter, where London found its feet and outscored their opponents by seven points.

Donte Grantham stood out for his team on both ends of the floor, firstly with a left-handed putback dunk which was later followed by a strong block on the defensive end.

Despite trailing at halftime, the Cheshire Phoenix took over in the second half. Ben Thomas’ side, who were led by Laquincy Rideau’s 25 points, limited London to just 12 points in the third quarter whilst scoring 22 of their own.

The Lions were losing the battle and could not find their range against a team that was hungry and determined to lift the BBL Trophy for the sixth time.

With less than eight minutes to go in the game, London were in front - albeit by a slim margin. However, Cheshire closed the game strongly and were victorious in Birmingham.

Watch the highlights from London Lions vs Cheshire Phoenix here.

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