December 12 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Head coach Vince Macaulay faces an anxious wait over the future of latest London Lions signing Matthew Bryan-Amaning who he hopes will not be tempted to the continent before next week’s visit of Plymouth Raiders.
The 25-year-old Londoner saw a move to South Korea collapse at the 11th hour which allowed the Lions to profit and offer him a short-term deal, but Macaulay knows that after just one game in the yellow vest - Thursday’s 63-62 defeat to Worcester Wolves - he will be powerless to prevent one of Europe’s big boys from poaching the Washington Huskies US college graduate.
The wait is compounded by a quirk of the British Basketball League fixture schedule means the capital club are in the middle of a long 15-day hiatus between games and their next game at the Copper Box on October 25.
“Let’s hope he’s not gone in these two weeks,” Macaulay said of Bryan-Amaning.
“It’s still on a game to game basis and it depends on what happens for him in the big leagues of Europe.
“It’s a real coup for the BBL to have him on the floor in our game and for us, as a Londoner, it’s great to have him with us.
“He did go to South Korea but in the final instances on his contract they decided not to sign him to a full deal which would have guaranteed his income for the whole season, so that’s why he’s looking for a different one.”
Macaulay also has plenty of time to mull over their agonising 63-62 overtime loss at home to unbeaten championship leaders Worcester – a second consecutive defeat this term.
If that game was to be his only outing for London, it was a impressive debut that, after a collectively woeful first half, deserved more than defeat. The new boy tied with guard Rob Brown as the Lions’ top scorer on 15 points, while notching six rebounds, two assists and seven huge defensive blocks.
All that after just two training sessions highlights why he is likely to be in-demand on the continent.
“I thought we integrated Matthew well into what we were doing and in the second half we played more Lions basketball,” Macaulay said.
“He was terrific defensively and did exactly what we knew he could do. Offensively, he probably tried to do too much, but the fact is that for a player of that calibre he tried to fit in with what we do and that is really admirable of him.”
While they gained one new face London lost another short-term signing Paul Guede who left the club 24 hours before the Wolves game and has rejoined Slovakian side Prievidza, where he played during the 2011/12 campaign.
“Paul is gone,” the coach said. “He decided to take an offer in another country so we were without him, so it was one in, one out. We missed him defensively but it is what it is.”
However, Macaulay is hopeful that his squad will soon be bolstered as the wait to welcome his three American signings nears its end. Last week he had a productive meeting with Home Office officials who agreed to recommend approval for their work permits, which could see them make their bows against the Raiders next week.