BBL: London Lions 115 Manchester Giants 75
PUBLISHED: 11:00 07 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:36 07 October 2017
Six London Lions put up double figures, including a double-double for Justin Robinson (19 points, 13 assists), in an emphatic win over the Manchester Giants at the Copper Box Arena on Friday night.
A truly team performance, with Demonte Flannigan netting 23 points, Momcilo Latinovic 21 and Brandon Peel claiming 11 rebounds, saw the Lions retain their 100 per cent start to the season in style.
It was a slow start for the home team, but that didn’t last long as a 13-0 run helped propel them to a 14-5 lead with just five minutes gone.
The timeout called by the Giants seemed to strengthen the Lions, who oozed confidence and were punishing the visitors at both ends of the court.
Latinovic was inspiring from downtown, and the Lions, who you sense are really enjoying their basketball this season, went into the first break ahead 29-15.
The punishment for Manchester just kept coming as the second quarter got under way. By the time Peel artfully stole the ball and forced an unsportsmanlike foul, the Giants knew they were running out of options and facing a 43-22 deficit.
The Lions then had a period of uncharacteristically sloppy play, allowing Manchester far more of the ball and some success from behind the arc.
But despite this the deficit still looked too big a hill to climb for the Giants, being 50-37 at the half-time break.
From the beginning of the third it all went the Lions way as Manchester very quickly ran out of steam, allowing London to taunt and play with them, including a beautiful slam dunk from Joe Ikhinmwin that had the Stratford crowd roaring.
With the score going into the fourth quarter at 88-53 the Lions were just having fun and Robinson beautifully stole the ball and powered up the court for a fantastic alley-oop with Flannigan, who got the crowd back up with another slam dunk.
A much bigger test for the Lions waits in Newcastle on Friday October 13, before they turn their attentions to the BBL Cup against Leeds at the Copper Box two days later (October 15, 4pm).
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