London Lions 103 Leeds Force 54: Lions emphatically defeat Force to progress in BBL Cup
PUBLISHED: 14:00 16 October 2017
BBL Cup first round: London Lions 103 Leeds Force 54
London Lions remain unbeaten at home and are through to the next round of the BBL Cup after humbling Leeds Force 103-54 at the Copper Box on Sunday afternoon.
Brandon Peel led the way for Lions, getting a double-double (20 points, 12 rebounds) and causing Leeds problems all over the court.
It was a great team effort though, with five Lions players getting into double digits with both Joe Ikhinmwin and Demonte Flannigan knocking on the door with nine points each.
The game looked like it was going to be a rout from the first few minutes, with Lions ruthlessly and efficiently exploiting the many weaknesses in the visiting side.
Force scored first, taking what would be their only lead of the game. And it wouldn’t last long. Momcilo Latinovic shot the ball from downtown and the Lions were off.
Leeds looked utterly shell-shocked, but Lions showed them no mercy. Justin Robinson, Will Hall and Flannigan all piling in the points. No let up was given on defence either, as time after time Leeds players were left holding air as London took the ball and put more points on the board.
As the first quarter came to a close Leeds were in all sorts of trouble, facing a 31-5 deficit.
And it wasn’t going to get better anytime soon.
As the second quarter reached the halfway point, Leeds finally made it into double figures. But by that stage London were way out in front with 43.
With just under three minutes to go in the half, Latinovic had more points (15 of his 18 total) than the entire Leeds squad who could only muster 14.
As the minutes of the half ebbed away, Leeds went on a mini-run. But the Lions stepped up the pace and went into the half ahead (56-21).
You sensed there was no way back for the visitors, despite having pockets of good play in the third, and this made the game feel a little flat. Peel soon shook things up, stealing the ball off the rebound, spinning and dunking to claim another two points.
Leeds actually outscored the Lions in the third quarter (18-20), but it mattered little as the damage had already been done.
As the fourth quarter got underway, the Lions lead hit 40 points and the players were just loving it. London could do no wrong, with Jack Isenbarger grinning from ear to ear as he leaped to put back a shot from Ikhinmwin that had gone slightly wide.
Lions passed a hundred and had done more than enough to move on to the next round.
As attention turns back to the league, the Lions will be making the journey to Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday, before returning to the Copper Box on November 3rd to face Glasgow. Tip off will be at 7.30pm.
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