Captain Justin Robinson hit two big free-throws and Ryan Martin blocked a potential game-tying shot as London Lions collected a thrilling 77-74 victory at Bristol Flyers, on Saturday.
Lions led by a point going into the final minute but with both sides missing shots, the hosts were forced to foul Robinson in the dying seconds to stop the clock and the veteran point guard sunk both shots to give the visitors a three point lead.
Martin then swatted Trejob Jacob’s attempt from outside the arc to seal the win and lift Lions up to fourth in the BBL Championship table.
Isaiah Reese led a balanced Lions’ offence with 16 points, adding seven assists and four rebounds while Robinson scored an efficient 15 points in just under 20 minutes of action. Martin came off the bench to add 13 points, five boards and four assists, while Lorenzo Cugini and Bradley Kaboza each finished with 11 points, adding eight and five rebounds respectively. Jacob and Marcus Evans scored 16 points apiece for the home side, but that wasn’t enough to prevent a fifth loss of the season against the Lions.
Lions started slowly as the hosts opened with ten straight points in just over two minutes before Reese drained a triple to get his side of the mark. Martin made it a five-point game but the was as close as the visitors came in the opening period, and despite Robinson’s trey Bristol led 19-10 at the first break.
Six Reese points kept Lions in the game early in the second period but despite a Cugini triple they still trailed 30-24 at the five minute before a pair of free-throws and a triple from Kaboza made a one-point game. Robinson hit another basket from downtown before Cugini hit a jump shot to tie the game at 34 going into the locker room at half-time.
Reese gave London their first lead of the game with the opening score of the second half, but the hosts replied with a 12-2 run before five quick points from Martin dragged Lions back into the game as they trailed 50-43 at the five minute mark in the third period.
Two-from-three Kaboza free-throws kept Lions in touch before Dirk Williams hit a triple to make it a one point game only to see Shane Walker’s lay-up to give Bristol a 57-54 lead at the final break.
Kelley’s dunk opened the fourth quarter before Reese hit a triple to tie the game. But Flyers replied with a 9-2 run before Robinson converted a triple and a lay-up to make it a two point game.
With Lions trailing by four heading into the final 3:30 of the game it was Martin’s triple that sparked the key run that won the game for the visitors. Chris Tawiah’s dunk gave Lions a lead they would never lose with two minutes on the clock and Cugini’s lay-up set up the final minute’s action that London a key win.