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London Lions fell short in British Basketball All-Stars Championship

PUBLISHED: 10:00 17 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:42 17 October 2018

London Lions in action at the All-Stars Championship (Pic: Graham Hodges)

London Lions in action at the All-Stars Championship (Pic: Graham Hodges)

Archant

London Lions fell short in defending their title at the British Basketball All-Stars Championship, losing in the semi-finals to the Leicester Riders.

London Lions in action at the All-Stars Championship (Pic: Graham Hodges)London Lions in action at the All-Stars Championship (Pic: Graham Hodges)

Two wins put the Lions into the last four, but a tense start with lots of missed opportunities meant Vince Macaulay’s men were unable to capitalise allowing the Riders to build a lead that they held on to, before they lost in the final to the Surrey Scorchers.

In game one, the Lions came out like the proverbial train against the Worcester Wolves as Justin Robinson and Jordan Spencer rained three-point shots to start the game.

Ladarius Tabb with a spinning tomahawk dunk had the crowd on their feet before Spencer hit the afternoon’s first five-pointer.

By the time Macaulay hit his golden buzzer, the game was out of reach for the Wolves, and coach Ty Shaw was in shock and forgot to activate the buzzer as the Lions won 45-6.

London Lions in action at the All-Stars Championship (Pic: Graham Hodges)London Lions in action at the All-Stars Championship (Pic: Graham Hodges)

In game two against the Bristol Flyers, Spencer put Lions ahead early with a deep three-pointer, before Justin Robinson was straight back to work at the other end with a lob pass for Kervin Bristol to throw down.

Bristol then made a block from behind on a driving Daniel Edozie, before more long-range shooting had Lions up.

Flo Larkai hit as Macaulay activated his golden buzzer to make it a six-point play.

Coach Macaulay’s timing was excellent as his two-minute period took the game past the point where Flyers could use their buzzer.

London Lions in action at the All-Stars Championship (Pic: Graham Hodges)London Lions in action at the All-Stars Championship (Pic: Graham Hodges)

Lions totalled 14 points in the powerplay to build a big lead and Ladarius Tabb rebounded well to score as Lions closed it out ahead 29-21.

The Lions fell to the Riders in the semi-final, though, and missed the opportunity to defend in the final.

A slow start saw the Lions fall short on several shots which helped the Riders get in front.

Raiders coach Rob Paternostro activated his buzzer as a JR Holder three pointer was in the air, making it a six-pointer.

With the lead growing to 10 points the Lions tried to hit back but failed to capitalise on their buzzer as the Riders held on to win 36-26.

Surrey Scorchers went on to collect the title and Jordan Williams was awarded MVP.

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