BBL Cup: London City Royals 92 London Lions 77
- Credit: Archant
London Lions travelled across the Thames to face capital rivals London City Royals and their merry contingent of Lithuanian fans in the second round of the BBL Cup.
In what was eventually a defeat there were some lopsided quarters as Brandon Peel got his 39th double double in 92 games for the Lions, whilst reigning MVP Justin Robinson dropped 18 points in the encounter.
For the hosts it was former Lion Orlan Jackman who led the way with a huge performance of 23 points, six rebounds and three blocks.
The Lions will be disappointed with their opening quarter as they would only muster 13 points whilst the Royals racked in 21.
Lions had numerous opportunities but appeared to rush shots and miss easy ones. Defensively Andrew Lawrence was marshalled well as was the dangerous Ed Lucas, but the hosts found scores from a variety of places.
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The second quarter was a lot tighter as the Lions responded through some long range shooting from Robinson and inside scored from Allen-Jordan. An and-one play from rookie Jordan Jackson saw the half end 44-34 to the Royals.
The Lions were shooting a woeful 28 per cent in the first half and had a number of things that needed addressing.
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Whatever it was, it worked as the Lions stormed into a 9-0 run forcing a Royals timeout as the game caught fire. Relentless defence and pace from the visitors saw Royals on the back foot.
But the experienced Lavrinovic twins helped to calm things down as that explosive third quarter meant the scoreboard now said 68-63.
The fourth saw Lawrence for the Royals go down with what looked like a hamstring pull as the Lions closed in. Two free throws from Jordan Whelan brought Lions to within three but a missed three from captain Joe Ikhinmwin was as close as they got.
Darjus Lavrinovic hit his three and another two-pointer, followed by a Peel travel, meant the opportunity was lost as the Royals found their wind and drove on to victory.
The Lions now play in the British All Stars next weekend before retuning to Cup action on the road at Bristol Flyers on October 19.
Lions; Peel 19, Robinson 18, Allen-Jordan 13, Weaver 10, Romero 6, Whelan 7, Ikhinmwin 3, Jackson 3, Toluwase 1, Lockhart 0,