With this win, the London Lions moved to 3-0, while the Manchester Giants dropped to 0-2.
Manchester Giants starting five: Jalen Harris, Nick Stampley, Jamell Anderson, Austin Lawton, Evan Walshe
London Lions starting five: Gabriel Olaseni, Mo Soluade, Conor Morgan, Luke Nelson, Tarik Phillip
The first quarter started with the London Lions rushing to a 4-0 lead within the first minute.
The Manchester Giants were quick to respond, and through their tenacious defence kept the Lions scoreless for the next four minutes, while going on a 13-0 run.
The home side increased their lead even further when Legend Robertin dunked hard in front of Josh Sharma, to give his side a double-digit lead (18-7), with just over three minutes left in the first period.
That’s when London turned on the jets and in efficient fashion went on a 10-0 run to close out the quarter with the score tied at 23 apiece.
The visitors took that momentum and started to slowly increase their lead, with Mo Soluade driving towards the middle and finding Luke Nelson open in the corner for the three (30-38).
The two Morgans then combined, with Matt going coast to coast and kicking it out to Conor, who drained the triple. This gave his team their first double-digit lead of the game (30-41), with just over five minutes left to play until the half.
London’s lead reached a high of 16 points (39-55) following a three-pointer by Tarik Phillip – who along with Sharma and Matt Morgan were the three Lions in double digits at the half.
A triple by Mason Bourcier, followed by his steal and a Nick Lewis lay-up, closed the gap for Manchester on the back of a 5-0 run (46-58).
The hosts continued fighting until the final buzzer of the first half. On their last play hit another three from Bourcier, to cut the deficit to 11 (49-60) going into the break.
The second half started with the Giants trying to claw back at the deficit, with Robertin putting the team on his back with a couple of emphatic jams that rocked the rim and made it a 10-point game after three minutes of action.
The Lions however weren’t going to let their lead slip. The Lions put their foot on the gas, increasing their advantage to over 20 points before a third massive dunk by Robertin made it 59-79.
Nelson’s three off the assist by Jordan Taylor saw London go up by as many as 27 points (59-86), two minutes before the end of the quarter.
Going into the final 10 minutes with the visitors firmly in control, Robertin continued providing the highlights, this time with a huge block on Sharma.
Just a minute later however, Sharma returned the favour by rising high above the rim for the monster jam off the alley-oop pass by Taylor to bring the lead to its largest margin (68-96).
The big man was the one who scored his team’s 100th point when he dunked following a fast break with six minutes left to play.
As the final buzzer approached, the Lions kept increasing their advantage, reaching a game-high 42 points (73-115). Nelson drained a long three to put the nail in the coffin – leading all scorers alongside Matt Morgan on 18 points.
Despite Jamell Anderson’s 17 points and Evan Walshe’s 16, the Giants fell to a second defeat in the league, while the Lions moved to 3-0.
Tonight’s MVP was Matt Morgan with 18 points, three rebounds and one assist, in his debut for the Lions.
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