London Lions 80-93 Paris Basketball (19-16, 37-44, 57-77)
(Lions: Dekker, 19; Zubcic, 17; Hruban, 12 — Paris: Simms, 15; Wallace, 13; Denis, 12 )
In a hotly anticipated EuroCup encounter – with celebrities together with TV presenter, Maya Jama and YouTuber Yung Fily amongst the hundreds in attendance – a second quarter run adopted by an onslaught within the third from the LNB Professional-A facet proved to be the Lions undoing.
Lacking Ovie Soko and Luke Nelson, London can take positivity in that six gamers scored in double figures, led by 19 for Sam Dekker, however have been rued by going 3/22 from three-point land.
With the following spherical of EuroCup video games set for 2023, London drops to 4-5 in Group B with this loss however nonetheless in good place within the desk.
Aamir Simms led Paris with 15 factors.
Regardless of the enthusiastic sell-out contained in the CopperBox, it was the guests from the French capital that began the higher of the 2 groups as they discovered their groove, whereas the Lions have been unable to execute on the offensive finish.
Again-to-back scores from French worldwide Axel Toupane gave Paris a 12-6 lead with 4 minutes of the primary interval remaining in a low-scoring first quarter, considerably uncharacteristic of the hosts.
The introduction of Josh Sharma off the bench boosted the Lions’ entrance court docket as he scored eight first-quarter factors, which included a thunderous one-hand slam to place London again into the sport.
A further rating from Vojtech Hruban with 1:37 left gave the Lions an 18-16 lead as they lastly discovered their spark with the primary quarter winding down, and they’d take a three-point benefit heading into the second.
Sadly for London, Paris started the second quarter sizzling from lengthy vary as three straight triples handed them again the benefit.
It was the spotlight of a 15-0 run that gave the French facet a 31-19 lead with 6:21 remaining earlier than coach Ryan Schmidt referred to as a timeout to place an finish to the Parisian momentum.
Mercifully, Dekker halted the run with a basket as he and Kosta Koufos led the Lions roar in the direction of half-time, however Paris took a 44-37 lead heading into the locker rooms.
The introduction of Tomislav Zubcic within the third quarter gave London an additional increase as he, together with Koufos gave a much-needed offensive spark.
However Paris maintained their double-digit cushion because the interval progressed and coach Schmidt was referred to as right into a timeout with 4:22 remaining as a 7-0 run, spearheaded by Kyle Allman gave his facet a 61-44 lead.
Paris’ lead solely grew as they have been connecting on their pictures, whereas London weren’t and trailed 77-57 going into the ultimate quarter.
Regardless of London’s finest efforts within the fourth, the hole was too massive to come back again from. Paris have been composed and met any Lions surge with a basket to maintain their facet of the scoreboard ticking.
Regardless of the hard-fought loss although, the London Lions loved a sell-out crowd, added with superstar fanfare, making for a monumental European night in British basketball.
The Lions will goal to bounce again two days after Christmas as they journey to the Leicester Riders in a gown rehearsal for the BBL Cup ultimate on January 29.