BBL Cup, Semi-Final 1st Leg
London Lions 80 (Hassan 30, Taylor 19, K Williams/Niktash 9)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 87 (Fletcher 23, Parks 19, Jackman 14)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle will take a seven-point lead into the second leg of their BBL Cup Semi-Final clash after defeating London Lions, 80-87.
Deondre Parks netted a big three in the final period and scored the final points of the game in a 6-0 close to the game.
The Eagles were without Christian Behrens and Scott Martin, who picked up an injury in Friday’s game while the Lions handed a debut to GB centre Zak Wells.
It was the visitors who made the stronger start and led by double figures by the end of the opening period. The Lions fought back in the second with an improved offensive display, but would still trail by 13 at the half.
London made their move at the start of the third to close to within four with a 13-4 opening. The Eagles restored their double-digit cushion before the lead was cut back down to four.
A three from Kai Williams put the Lions up 71-70, but Newcastle hit back with a 10-2 run. It was back to a one-point game at 80-81 before Eagles’ late blitz.
Rashad Hassan top scored with a game-high 30 points with the Lions needing to overturn a seven-point deficit in order to reach the BBL Cup Final.