BBL Trophy, Semi-Final, Second Leg
London Lions 85-81 Bristol Flyers (19-21, 42-36, 66-63)
(Lions – Williams 22, Neighbour 17, Cugini 13; Flyers – Jacob 28, Delpeche 18, Miller 18)
(Lions win 166-142 on aggregate)
London Lions will defend the BBL Trophy that they won for the first time last season, after beating Bristol Flyers 85-81 at the Copper Box Arena, and by 24 points on aggregate in the two-legged semi-final.
It sets up a final with Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday 20 March at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow where, close to 20 years to the day, they will seek to avenge a Trophy Final defeat when both teams were under different guises in 2002.
Needing to make up a 20-point deficit from the first leg, Flyers were determined throughout – behind a 28-point haul from Trejon Jacob – and led early on, holding their biggest lead at 21-16 towards the end of the first period.
Lions, however, then rattled off the first 14 points of the second stanza, holding their visitors scoreless for over four minutes, as Will Neighbour and Dirk Williams scored five each and Lorenzo Cugini made it 33-21, and an insurmountable 32-point aggregate lead.
Flyers had one more go late on, Jacob hitting a pair of three-pointers to top-and-tail a 13-3 burst that put them up 76-74 on the night. But it was too little too late, as Williams tied the game soon after and triples from Julian Washburn and Justin Robinson settled the tie on the night.
Williams led London’s scoring with 22 points, while Neighbour contributed 17 off the bench and Robinson handed out eight assists.