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London Lions look to remain top of BBL as they face the defending champions Riders

PUBLISHED: 13:00 08 November 2018

London Lions André Lockhart and Lamar Roberts in action against Big Ballers USA (Pic: Graham Hodges

London Lions André Lockhart and Lamar Roberts in action against Big Ballers USA (Pic: Graham Hodges

Archant

London Lions will look to stay at the top of the British Basketball League (BBL) table as they make the trip to face Leicester Riders on Friday evening.

Coach Vince Macaulay and his side will travel to Leicester Arena as they look to pick up their seventh win of the season in their opening eight fixtures.

Rob Paternostro’s Riders are still undefeated in the league after playing just two fixtures so far and will be the biggest challenge for the Lions yet.

The defending BBL champions handed Newcastle their first loss of the season with an 84-68 win before the Eagles also lost to second-place Bristol Flyers on the weekend.

Lions go into the match on the back of an 86-83 win at Manchester Giants – meaning they’ve seucred 10 consecutive wins against their opponents.

They led almost from tip to buzzer – the Giants had a one-point lead midway through the first quarter – and took the opening stanza 18-14.

Sharp shooting from League MVP, Justin Robinson meant Lions led 34-42 at half time and, missing Flo Larkai and Lamar Roberts, they battled inside against foul trouble to see the game out.

James Jones’ three brought the Giants back within a single score at 65-68 before Lions responded with a 10-0 run to re-establish control with a double-digit advantage. A late surge from the Giants kept it close late on, but the visitors held firm.

A superb 20-from-22 at the free throw line contributed for the Lions as Robinson nailed 22 points and Brandon Peel notched 19 and seven boards.

However it was their defensive work that made the difference as McCall and Butler were held for a total five points.

*Lions could not get revenge on the Big Ballers USA side as their opponents claimed a 151-137 victory at the Copper Box Arena last Friday.

Macaulay’s side are set to return to their home court to host the Worcester Wolves on Sunday, November 18 for a BBL Cup quarter-final clash, two days after travelling to face the Wolves in the league at the University of Worcester. For ticket details visit thelondonlions.com.

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