London Lions put on a dominant display against NBL Division 1 side Worthing Thunder in BBL Trophy action tonight at the Copper Box, winning 89-53.
Fresh off last night’s tough loss to Hapoel Tel-Aviv in the EuroCup, in which they led for most of the night, the Lions were eager to get a W and took the game straight to Worthing in the opening quarter.
The Lions chose to rest their all-star frontcourt of Sam Dekker, Kosta Koufos and Tomislav Zubcic, who all played major minutes last night.
They were led by Aaron Best with 24 points, with Josh Ward-Hibbert adding 12 points and 13 rebounds, including seven offensive boards, whilst Bradley Kaboza added 17 off the bench.
Luke Nelson opened the scoring with a three-pointer and picked up from last night’s highlight play with a behind the back pass to Aaron Best for the score.
Morayo Soluade also got on the scoreboard with a three-pointer as the Lions put their length and defensive scheme into action – forcing the Thunder into tough, contested shots.
If the Achilles heel for the Lions has been consistency over four quarters, they certainly proved effective in that department tonight – scoring at least 20 points in the final three quarters. The Thunder showed much promise though; Ronald Blain and Andre Arissol adding 17 and 11 points respectively.
Arissol snapped the Lions run and put Worthing on the board with four quick points, before Luke Nelson’s driving layup forced coach Zaire Taylor to call a timeout.
In the second quarter, the Londoners were on the offensive again.
This time they were led by young British guard Zamoku Weluche, who knocked down a three-pointer and finished a monster dunk over Blain.
Unfazed by the play however, Blain calmly went to work from beyond the arc – connecting on a pair of triples.
Best connected on his second three-pointer before a layup by Ward-Hibbert pushed the lead to 21 points.
Ward-Hibbert scored eight of his points in the period, proving himself as a tough match up inside and out.
Arrisol and Best traded three-pointers but the home team’s ball-movement and offensive rebounds were proving too damaging.
With the lead steadily climbing to 27; Jonathan Komagum punched in a fast break dunk and Bradley Kaboza hit a three-pointer with 10 seconds remaining in the half.
Back-to-back three pointers for Orlan Jackman could not reignite the Thunder’s spark.
The young Lions side was led by Komagum in scoring and celebrated a high-flying block by Weluche.
A pair of threes by Kaboza and a dunk by Komagum capped off another impressive quarter.
London reached their biggest lead of the game (34 points) off a Komagum triple – before Kaboza ended proceedings with a pair of free throws.
With the BBL trophy now firmly underway, head over to the BBL site for all upcoming fixtures.