London Lions
Surrey Scorchers

The slow-burning Lions leave it late against Surrey, kicking off 2024 with a hard-fought victory.

Gabe Olaseni scored 25 points in as many minutes to ensure London got over the line in Guildford.

Although the festive period is usually a time for relaxing, the games were coming thick and fast for the London Lions, who played basketball on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, and New Year's Day. 

With a trip to Scotland on December 29th too, Petar Božić’s team responded by winning three of the four fixtures, only falling short against Paris at the Halle Georges Carpentier.

Last year was a successful one for the Lions, which was evident through their growth on and off the court.

One thing that London would have hoped to leave in 2023 was their slow start to games, which has become a staple in the majority of Lions’ games. The same occurred against the Surrey Scorchers, who won the first quarter 29-18.

After conceding 10 points in the final two minutes of the quarter, a response was needed from the visitors. So,in trademark fashion, the Lions went on to win the next three quarters, erasing the deficit and seeking the victory through a narrow five-point deficit.

London; who were without Sam Dekker, Matt Morgan, Tarik Phillip, Mo Soluade, Donte Grantham, and Remy Udeh, limited their opponents to under 20 points in each of the remaining quarters.

Despite this, the damage done in the first quarter allowed Surrey to remain in pole position for the victory until the dying minutes of the match. However, clutch buckets from Jordan Taylor and Luke Nelson ultimately killed the game and pushed London’s domestic record to an impressive 22-3.

Next up for the Lions are a couple of British Basketball League Trophy games, with the first taking place against the Newcastle Eagles on January 4th at the Copper Box.

Watch the highlights from Surrey Scorchers vs London Lions here.

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