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Lions looking for revenge as Big Ballers come back to London for Copper Box test

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 November 2018

London Lions will be determined to build on their strong start to the British Basketball League season when they look to get revenge over the Big Ballers Brand USA this weekend.

Following a sell-out event at the Copper Box Arena in April, the Big Ballers are back to defend their title against in-form Lions.

Coach Vince Macaulay and his side go into the clash on the back of an 87-81 victory against Cheshire Phoenix.

“We were incredibly sluggish,” Macaulay said.

“All I can think is the long journey to Glasgow and back, plus a number of us were in Liverpool on Monday for a funeral and I think it was in the legs and consequently the brains.

“We let them have whatever they wanted and they played with nothing to lose. In the end, adjustments at the half and a grit we showed in the fourth helped us win an ugly game in which I’m not sure we could have played much worse.”

The Lions made the better start with a quickfire three-pointer from Jordan Spencer.

But midway through the opening term the game swung against the hosts as Jimario Rivers acted as a one-man wrecking crew for the Phoenix scoring nine of the first 12 points for Cheshire.

Former Lion Momcilo Latinovic impressed all game for the Phoenix.

Acting as a key member of the offence, with plenty of the ball passing through his hands, Latinovic, Rivers and Dil’Jon Allen-Jordan all put up numbers in the first half to give their side a 46-40 lead.

The second half started with a triple from Spencer, but the Phoenix got into their rhythm and managed the gap over the Lions.

Fatigue started to set in for the Phoenix in the closing moments of the third quarter allowing the Lions back into the contest.

Brandon Peel nailed a three-pointer to give Lions their first lead since the opening minutes and his forward partner, Ladarius Tabb added to their lead from the line.

Both sides traded buckets in the fourth, with the Lions building a nine-point gap with a minute to go. Phoenix brought the gap down to four before Justin Robinson closed out the game.

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