BBL Trophy: London Lions 100 Manchester 105 (201-179 agg)
PUBLISHED: 15:30 16 February 2019
London Lions secured their place in the final of the BBL Trophy with a comfortable aggregate victory.
Despite a second-leg defeat at the Copper Box Arena, the Lions did the damage in the semi-final tie with a 101-74 road win and remain on course to add to their BBL Cup title.
The return meeting started fast, with both sides scoring freely as the opening quarter ended level at 20-20.
The second quarter saw Manchester’s Willie Clayton pick up fouls and eventually find himself out of the game by half-time, on the back of a technical foul against him.
But the Giants led by as many as five points, before Paul Guede and Justin Robinson inspired Lions to rally for a 52-51 advantage at the midway point.
The home side had all 12 of their players in the game, with Jonathan James wowing the crowd with some dunks and drives.
Even 17-year-old Aaron Badibo got a taste of BBL action, while captain Joe Ikhinmwin hit a three-pointer in the last minute before a similar long-range effort from the Giants put them up by five.
After a missed attempt, the Lions let he game play out to secure their 22-point aggregate victory and move on to the final in Glasgow on March 10.
Manchester’s shooting proved efficient on the night, with 55 per cent from the floor and 11 from 22 at three-point range.
Butler (24), Bankevics (23) and Granic (20) combined for 67 of their points, while Ladarius Tabb led the way for Lions with 22.
Brandon Peel shot 75 per cent from the field on his way to 19 points, with Andre Lockhart nailing four of five triples in his 16-point haul.
Lions: Tabb 22, Peel 19, Lockhart 16, Okoro 10, Robinson 8, Guede 8, James 7, Larkai 5, Ikhinmwin 3, Bristol 2, Roberts 0, Badibo 0.
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