London Lions
Cheshire Phoenix

A good all-round scoring display saw London Lions win their dress rehearsal for the BBL Trophy final with a 97-89 victory at Cheshire Phoenix, on Sunday.

Six players finished in double figures for James Vear’s side as a strong fourth period gave Lions victory ahead of next week’s title game in Glasgow.

Kylor Kelley led the way with 20 points on nine-from-11 shooting, adding seven rebounds and four assists. Lorenzo Cugnini and Justin Robinson each finished with 19 point, with Cugini dishing out five assists and Robinson having a perfect shooting night from the floor including four triples. Dirk Williams added 15 points and seven rebounds while Ryan Martin and Bradley Kaboza chipped in with ten apiece, and there was further good news for Lions as Jordan Williams returned from injury with 13 minutes of action.

Teddy Okererfor and Kyle Carey led Cheshire with 22 points with the former adding nine assists and five rebounds.

After the hosts scored the first six points of the game, Robinson got his team off the mark with back-to-back triples, and there was little to choose between the two sides before Williams’ and-one sent the visitors into the first break with a 28-24 lead.

Martin’s three-point play got Lions on the scoreboard early in the second period and Kelley’s jump shot saw them open a 40-33 lead after four minutes. Robinson’s triple gave London a 49-44 lead heading into the final 90 seconds of the half and youngster Kaboza’s driving lay-up kept the margin at five before Levi Bradley’s triple saw Cheshire cut the half-time lead to 51-49.

Cugini was hot at the start of the second half, draining a trey followed by a long two as Lions started well and Robinson nailed another triple. Casey briefly gave the hosts the lead midway through the third period but Kaboza answered with a three-point play, and both Williams and Kaboza dropped triples before Londoner Okererfor scored a free-throw following Vera’s technical foul to tie the game at 74 going into the final break.

Five quick Phoenix opened the fourth period to put the hosts ahead before Cugini converted Lions’ fourth and-one of the game and Robinson’s lay-up  tied the game again with seven minutes on the clock.

The game was still tied heading into the final three minutes before Kelley’s triple launched the game-winning run. Williams’ triple doubled the lead to six with 74 seconds remaining before Martin effectively wrapped it up with another old fashioned three-point play. Carey and Kelley exchanged lay-ups but there was no way back for the hosts as Robinson wrapped up the win at the foul line.