BBL Cup: Newcastle 75 London Lions 73
PUBLISHED: 09:48 09 December 2018
London Lions will look to overturn a two-point deficit when they host Newcastle in the second leg of their BBL Cup semi-final at the Copper Box Arena on Sunday.
The first leg in the North East was a very scrappy contest, with the Lions misfiring from the start in the face of a defensive line-up from the Eagles.
The visitors were unablee to convert many easy chances but a Justin Robinson three-pointer helped them to a 21-17 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second session was a similar stiry as coach Vince Macaulay shuffled his pack in search of the rhythm they had shown for most of the season.
Brandon Peel showed off his skills, while Robinson popped up whenever play appeared to stall as Eagles went into the half-time break with a 38-37 advantage.
The Eagles kept a closer eye on Robinson in the second half, but Ladarius Tabb and Flo Larkai kept the scoreboard ticking over for Lions, who remained within touching distance throughout.
Newcastle led by as many as eight points on two separate occasions, but Lions roared back and Jerelle Okoro helped end the third quarter with Eagles 58-54 up.
Okoro netted a pair of three-point shots as Lions sprang to life, with Kervin Bristol also having an impact as Lions moved 73-69 ahead late on.
But the home side scored the next six points to ensure they would hold a slender edge for the return meeting on Sunday (4pm), with a place in January’s final on the line.
Lions: Robinson 21, Peel 17, Tabb 15, Larkai 10, Okoro 6, Bristol 2, Spencer 2, Lockhart 0, Guede 0, Roberts 0, James, Ikhinmwin.