London Lions
Paris Basketball

Paris Condemn Lions’ Depleted Squad to Second Straight EuroCup Defeat, 80-93. Sam Dekker Records 19-Point, 4-Rebound, 4-Assist Display and Tomislav “Zuba” Zubcic Contributes 17 Points and 6 Rebounds in Front of a Sell-out Crowd.

London lost the first cross-channel rival match 80-93 to Paris Basketball. Dubbed ‘The Eurotunnel Derby,’ the game witnessed by a sell-out capacity crowd at the Copper Box Arena saw the short-handed Lions take the lead after the first quarter. However, London then struggled to contain the Parians in the second and third periods.

Coach Ryan Schmidt's squad was depleted due to injuries to Ovie Soko, Luke Nelson, Kareem Queeley and Miye Oni and thus shortened to an 8-person rotation.

Although he struggled to convert from long-range, Paris’ interior defence had difficulty stopping Sam Dekker in the paint. The combo forward weaved his way to the rim, making 7 of 10 attempts. Whilst doing this, he made it to the free-throw line and converted all 5 of his shots. In total, Dekker recorded 19 points for his efforts, to go with 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

Tomislav Zubcic was one of only two Lions’ players to connection at least one attempt from the 3-point line and was also the only Lions’ player to sink more than one shot from long range. In little over twenty-two minutes, “Zuba” scored 17 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and 1 steal.

Kostas Koufos recorded yet another double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Koufos was also instrumental in helping London close the gap late in the game, dishing out 2 assists during two well-orchestrated offensive plays to Jordan Taylor and Vojtech Hruban, respectively.

Recent signee Jordan Taylor kept the Lions' offence flowing, handing out 9 dimes, his highest 7Days EuroCup assists total since 4th February 2020. Whilst connecting on 50% of his shots from the field, Taylor also drained a 3-point jumper and 1 of 3 of his shots from the charity stripe to the tune of 10 points.

Coach Ryan Schmidt’s 8-person rotation was boosted by GB national player Josh Sharma, who came off the bench and contributed 10 points and 9 rebounds to the cause in under twenty-five minutes on the court.

The seven-footer was instrumental in helping the Lions take the lead in the first quarter, scoring 6 points, including two perfectly set-up pick-and-roll dunks via dimes from Taylor and Dekker.

The Lions took an 18-16 lead in the first quarter when Vojtech Hruban went coast-to-coast and hit a driving lay-up during a fast-break transition play. Hruban ended the night with 12 points and 3 rebounds on 54.5% shooting from the field.

Paris fought their way back into the game in the second quarter, stagnating the Lions’ offence to just 18 points whilst scoring 28 of their own. The Parians clocked in 33 points in the third to give them a decisive 20-point, 57-77 lead, as London could only score 20 points.

Although London put up 23 points and held Paris to just 16 in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t enough to come away with the win.

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