Lightning quick London Lions too strong for Cheshire

PUBLISHED: 12:08 23 April 2017 | UPDATED: 12:08 23 April 2017

London Lions Andre Lockhart attacks against Cheshire (pic Graham Hodges)

London Lions Andre Lockhart attacks against Cheshire (pic Graham Hodges)


London Lions 101 Cheshire 89

An explosive 35-point first quarter propelled the London Lions to victory over the Cheshire Phoenix at the Copper Box Arena.

Rashad Hassan (25), Navid Niktash (23) and Alex Owumi (20) all scored over 20 points, with Niktash scoring 18 of his in the first quarter alone.

A much stronger offensive performance was coupled with some strong rebounding and the Lions getting 17 points by forcing turnovers.

Following an emphatic home victory against a somewhat depleted Leicester team last week, the Lions came out ready to make their mark early on against a Cheshire side they have struggled with this season.

The Lions raced to build up a 13-2 lead with just under 3 minutes gone, with Hassan emphasising the point with a beautiful slam off a rebound.

It wasn’t just under the basket where everything was going right either. The first missed shot from downtown for the Lions - who’ve struggled with both making and defending three-point shots this season - came around the six-inute mark, but Owumi was waiting with a put-back.

With three minutes left in the first, Cheshire looked on the ropes as Hassan nailed a superb block, passing the ball up to Niktash who netted another three.

A breathless first quarter saw the Lions ahead 35-17 with Cheshire eyeing Niktash as the danger man. But it was Hassan who would keep the lead up in a second quarter where both teams tried to grab their breath.

By the end of the half, Niktash and Hassan had teamed up for a 32-point partnership that saw the home side up 60-42.

The second half was always going to struggle to live up to the first, but the Lions effectively shut out a Cheshire side that threw everything at trying to get a victory.

It wasn’t helped by officiating which saw the Lions in serious foul trouble for much of the second half. By the time Owumi took the first Lions free throw of the game with over half the third quarter gone, Cheshire had visited the line 18 times.

The Lions had moments of brilliant, entertaining play throughout the remaining two periods of play. The seventh of Zaire Taylor’s nine assists was a particular beauty, an alley-oop to the waiting Kai Williams.

The unstoppable force of the Lions was particularly evident as, with just under a minute and a half gone, Taylor hustled around the basket, beating player after player, keeping the ball despite being knocked to the floor and managing to pass to a waiting Niktash who easily sunk the three-point shot.

The Lions comfortably took the victory and will travel to Glasgow for a tricky end to the regular season.

The play-offs tip off on Friday, with the Lions likely to take on the Rocks or Sheffield at 7.30pm.

Latest East London Sports News

52 minutes ago

A round-up of some of the latest results from the Victoria Park Community Cricket League

The humble centre back has enjoyed an extraordinary rise in non-league football after signing for Leyton Orient in January 2018

Battle of the big boys went down to the wire


The latest boxing news from Tower Hamlets

The 40-year-old, who played in the Premier League for Charlton Athletic, is set to retire after playing in the FA Vase final at Wembley

Yesterday, 18:30

The club confirm Charlie Grainger, Alex Lawless, Charlie Lee and Jay Simpson will depart Brisbane Road on June 30th

Yesterday, 14:00

The attacking midfielder, who signed in January, impressed in the 1-0 loss at Wembley and has been backed for big things by Justin Edinburgh

Yesterday, 10:00

The midfielder made his final appearance for Leyton Orient in the FA Trophy final against AFC Fylde and paid tribute to the club


Victoria Park - or 'Vicky Park' as the locals know it - has been the setting for many important events over the years.​ Here, we take a look at its unique cultural history.

The team behind All Points East have put together a mouth-watering line-up of local food and drink traders who will be fuelling the festival in May.

Rock band Sleeping With Sirens will lead the show at All Points East festival this summer in Victoria Park.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists