Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders have taken a share of top spot in the BBL Championship, prevailing 68-73 after an immensely hard fought battle with the London Lions live on Sky Sports at Crystal Palace. The Riders had lost two of their previous four road games, and it was their last outing before the weekend's BBL Cup Final at the National Indoor Arena. The Lions are on a five-game losing streak.
Pavol Losonsky (203-F-88, college: Cal-Irvine) led all scorers with 17 points and 9 rebounds for the victors, supported by Drew Sullivan's 15 and a double-double of 11 points and 12 boards from Jay Couisnard. Joel Barkers and Adrien Sturt led the Lions with 15 points each.
The first quarter gave few clues as to what would come as the Riders came storming out of the blocks to score the first 8 points, including 6 for Losonsky; and that became 1-12 as the Lions could muster just one Tayo Ogedengbe free-throw in the first four minutes of the game. The performance was reminiscent of Leicester's first half defensive stifling of the Worcester Wolves on Saturday. The Lions did get things moving with a Mike Martin three-pointer to cut the lead to single digits, but Zaire Taylor responded in kind and the Riders carried their double-digit lead into the second quarter as Jorge Calvo scored the final basket of the opening ten minutes for a score of 15-25.
But that was turned on its head in the second stanza as, this time, the Lions opened with the first 6 points and held their visitors scoreless for three minutes, Barkers matching Losonsky's efforts with all 6 of those points. Their push became 17-5 over the first eight minutes of the quarter; the Riders stubbornly held onto their lead until Jordan Spencer tied the game at 30 with two minutes to play in the half, and the Lions took the lead with a pair of Sturt free-throws on their next offence. But the Riders dug in and hit the next 4 points through Losonsky and Couisnard to ensure that lead would last only 46 seconds and, after Ogedengbe put the Lions up again, Couisnard scored on the buzzer to ensure that the Riders held a slim 35-36 edge going into the break.
But the Lions stayed in touch as the teams traded baskets in the early exchanges of the third quarter until a 7-0 burst, capped by Spencer's triple, gave them the lead once more at 44-40. The Lions built on that lead, with Sturt scoring 6 straight points for them and blocking Anthony Rowe at the other end, as the hosts were 54-47 in the ascendancy - their largest lead of the game - with under two minutes to play after a spell in which the Riders were over-reliant on the three-point shot and missed 5/6 at the line. But Sullivan provided the momentum-changing moment as he drove the lane for an 'and-one' play inside the final minute in what became a 6-0 finish to the quarter as Riders also scored a steal and lay-up through Connor Washington and Taylor made 1/2 free-throws, after another steal, as the Riders rediscovered their defensive vigour to trail 53-54 heading into the decisive quarter.
That momentum stayed with them as they opened the fourth with an 11-4 surge with Couisnard and Losonsky scoring 4 each to lead 58-64. The Lions scored a quick 6 in a row, capped by Perry Lawson, but their momentum was halted by Calvo's three-pointer and, crucially, Leicester's lead became two possessions inside the final three minutes as Calvo stole the ball passed to Taylor behind his back: the latter was fouled, making 1/2 at the line. A spell of tough defence followed as neither side scored for a minute and a half after Martin got the Lions back to 66-68 with two minutes to play. Within the final 30 seconds, Taylor made just 1/2 at the line to keep the Lions' hopes alive and it was a one-point game as Martin scored with 11 seconds to play at 68-69. Couisnard was sent to the line, holding his nerve to make both free-throws and leaving the Lions 8 seconds to find a three-pointer to tie the game; but Lawson couldn't find a shot under pressure from Sullivan and the latter saw the game out with the final two free-throws.
The BBL are delighted to announce that the Bristol Flyers will be joining their ranks.
The Flyers, who will be owned by Bristol Sport Ltd, will commence participation in BBL Competition from the start of the 2014-15 season. They will remain in the EBL Division One for the forthcoming season [read more]
The BBL are delighted to announce that the Bristol Flyers will be joining their ranks.
The Flyers, who will be owned by Bristol Sport Ltd, will commence participation in BBL Competition from the start of the 2014-15 season. They will remain in the EBL Division One for the forthcoming season.
The club have established themselves as one of the most successful and well-supported community basketball clubs in the country outside of the BBL, securing promotion to National League Division 1 in 2007, becoming National Cup Champions in 2010 and being crowned as English Division 1 Champions in 2011.
Bristol Sport Chairman Martin Griffiths said 'The Flyers have already developed one of the best youth schemes and academy pathways in the country, and having performed so successfully in recent years at the top of the semi-professional leagues, it is right and proper they should be part of the UK's premier professional basketball league.
"This new Bristol Flyers BBL franchise will give the city's talented young basketball players and coaches the chance to develop and to shine at the national level. It's great news for sport in Bristol, and I am delighted that Bristol Sport has been able to make it happen."
Andy Webb, BBL Chief Operating Officer, commented: "We are delighted to welcome the Bristol Flyers to the BBL. They are a perfect fit to extend our reach within the UK and, with the support of Bristol Sport, we believe all the building blocks are in place for a hugely successful franchise."
The London Lions have made point guard Rod Brown(186-PG-78, college: W.Michigan) their first signing as they get ready to move to the Copper Box Arena.
The 61 American made an instant impact when he joined the Lions at the turn of this year, spearheading their successful push for a Playoff place. Brown is a veteran of many years playing in the UK before heading off to Europe to play in the big leagues in Spain and Italy [read more]
The London Lions have made point guard Rod Brown (186-PG-78, college: W.Michigan) their first signing as they get ready to move to the Copper Box Arena.
The 61 American made an instant impact when he joined the Lions at the turn of this year, spearheading their successful push for a Playoff place. Brown is a veteran of many years playing in the UK before heading off to Europe to play in the big leagues in Spain and Italy.
Now a British passport holder, Brown took hold of the team making the winning basket in the Lions last regular season game to qualify for the Playoffs.
Lions Head Coach Vince Macaulay had this to say, Im just so excited, we have a great opportunity at the Queen Elizabeth Park and with these great challenges we need capable men, Rod was a great addition to us last season and hes just as excited as I am about the move, his veteran leadership was key and will be required this season as we try to compete at the top of the League table, we had a job on our hands to retain his services as he was in great demand hear and overseas but the potential here is the best in British basketball and I think Rod saw that.
A native of Texas, Brown graduated from Western Michigan University in 2000 before coming over to the UK to play. Following spells in Greece, Spain and Italy, Brown played in Switzerland in 2011 where he won the Championship and Playoffs.
Last season Brown averaged 15 points and 4.5 assists per game for the Lions, however it was the calmness under pressure that he brought to his team mates, Macaulay added, In building this years team Rod was our first name down and all at the club are delighted to have been able to bring him back but this is only the start of assembling an exciting team for London.
Player sponsorship is now available for Rod Brown on a first come first served basis.
The Lions are about to announce Season ticket offers for the Copper Box as well as a first opportunity to go to the Copper Box and pick your seats in Seat Selection Sunday, if youre interested in any of these please just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Prunty takes over Great Britain - Jun 12, 2013
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Great Britain has finally got to know the name of their new head coach. Joe Prunty will guide the team at the 2013 EuroBasket. He replaces Chris Finch who stepped down after the London Olympics. Joe Prunty has lately worked as assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Previously he was assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks. Previously Joe Prunty worked as a scout for the San Antonio Spurs [read more]
Great Britain has finally got to know the name of their new head coach. Joe Prunty will guide the team at the 2013 EuroBasket. He replaces Chris Finch who stepped down after the London Olympics. Joe Prunty has lately worked as assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Previously he was assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks. Previously Joe Prunty worked as a scout for the San Antonio Spurs. Great Britain will try to improve their two consecutive 13th-place EuroBasket campaigns in 2009 and 2011. They will play in Group A of EuroBasket. Great Britain will face France, Germany, Belgium, Israel and Ukraine. Top three teams from the group will advance into the Second Stage of the tournament.
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