London Lions crowned BBL champions after huge wins over Newcastle and Leicester
PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 May 2019
London Lions clinched the BBL Championship title for the first time after beating Esh Group Eagles Newcastle on the road on Friday night.
Coach Vince Macaulay's side moved to 26-6 to wrap up the league triumph with a game to spare, while the Eagles close out their regular season at 21-12.
The Lions then also sealed a comfortable 89-69 win at home against Leicester Riders to celebrate their achievements in front of their own fans at the Copper Box Arena on Sunday.
The game in Newcastle started off tight as both teams probed before the home side edged into a lead.
Good scoring from Justin Robinson spurred the Lions on but an Eddie Matthews three at the buzzer put the Eagles 20-19 ahead after 10 minutes.
In the second quarter the Lions began to take control, as young Jonathan James came off the bench with a spark to hit a pair of three-pointers, on a Jordan Spencer steal he then finished the lay up.
Eagles called a timeout to regroup, but a strong finish to the half put Lions up by 10 going to the half-time break.
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The Lions doubled their advantage midway through the third, as Paul Guede hit from deep and with Kervin Bristol dominant on the glass at both ends, they powered towards the title in clinical fashion.
In the fourth quarter, the execution was good for the visitors, as Robinson led his side with seven threes and every Lion got on court.
Having also won the BBL Cup earlier in the season, head coach Macaulay said: “I feel honoured to have led London basketball back to the top of the tree.
“My coaching team, my club staff, my team have all been brilliant but what's awesome is our hardcore fans who have backed us up and down the country, this is for you.
“A huge thank you to our partners GLL, who have supported us every step of the way on our journey in London.
“We wouldn't be here now without you.”
London Lions will now turn their attentions to the play-offs quarter finals.
They head away to Plymouth Raiders on Sunday, before hosting their opponents at the Cooper Box Arena on Bank Holiday Monday.
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