UK Basketball: London Lions crushed by Manchester Giants

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The London Lions were blasted for one of their ‘worst performances of their UK Basketball season’ after losing 108-93 at home to the Manchester Giants on Sunday.

The Giants got off to a blistering start in the opening quarter of their British Basketball League encounter, creating a double-figure lead in the first few minutes.

Sharp offensive play from the visitors proved too much for the Lions, allowing Giants top scorer David Aliu to make 15 of his 25 points in the opening 10 minutes.

The Lions struggled to stay in the game from then on, suffering a 20-point difference by the end of the second quarter. Even the supporting cheers of the 2,600–strong crowd failed to swing the game in their favour.

Last-minute fightback

Despite a fightback in the last minutes of the final quarter, the Lions were unable to stand up to the Giants’ devastating accuracy, finishing with a painful 93-108 defeat.

However the final minute of the game brought some respite, when the Lions’ latest signing, Jason Davis, found himself unmarked with possession of the ball and was able to bring home the team’s final points with an impressive slam-dunk.

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Top-four hopes in doubt

Head coach Vince Macaulay said he was disappointed with the result, which casts the Lions’ top-four hopes in some doubt.

He said: “That was not acceptable. I expect a lot more heart and fight from any team of mine and I will endeavour to fix this.”

“We’ve got teams chasing us from behind like Cheshire and Glasgow and we should be playing good basketball, getting ready for the play-offs.

“I’m disappointed that we haven’t been able to refocus and that’s what I’ll be focusing on in the next fortnight [before the Lion’s next game in Newcastle].

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Blayne Freckleton, the 21-year-old Lions guard, blamed the defeat on the team’s mental attitude, while former Giants forward Julius Joseph said: “Today is probably one of our worst performances of the season. “

“Hopefully we can learn from it. We’ve got to accept the negative points but you’ve got to be positive as a player, as a team and as an organisation and realise what’s going wrong. We’ve just got to turn it around.

“It was really frustrating because we knew we had more to offer but we just couldn’t deliver it.

“We scored well, we just didn’t play well enough defensively.”

Match summary

London Lions were outplayed throughout by Manchester Giants, who got an early lead and kept it throughout.

Final score: 108-93 to Giants

Lions Scorers: Marks 24, Brown 19, Martin 14, Davis 10, Sturt 10, Joseph 6, Ikhinmwin 6, Lawson 2, Irish 2, Freckleton 0

Giants Scorers: Aliu 25, Watts 20, Jones 14

Basketball League Championship 2013-14 ladder

TEAM

                                P

W

L

Pts

Worcester Wolves

24

20

4

40

Esh Group Eagles Newcastle

25

20

5

40

One Health Sharks Sheffield

22

17

5

34

Leicester Riders

24

17

7

34

London Lions

26

15

11

30

Cheshire Phoenix

24

13

11

26

Plymouth University Raiders

26

12

14

24

Durham Wildcats

27

12

15

24

Glasgow Rocks

25

10

15

20

Manchester Giants

25

10

15

20

Surrey United

25

4

21

8

Birmingham Knights

27

0

27

0

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