- National Teams
London Lions pulled off one of the biggest upsets in BBL history on Friday night, as their Division 1 squad took down Surrey Scorchers 86-85 in the Cup competition at Surrey Sports Park.
With a number of Lions BBL players needing to self-isolate due to contact-tracing, the Division 1 team – made up of primarily under-19 players from Barking Abbey basketball academy – were sent instead.
— British Basketball League (@BBLofficial) September 24, 2021
The young side overturned a 12-point fourth quarter deficit, finishing the game on a 16-4 run over the final 4:30 of the game to pull out the win.
American Jase Harrison had 24 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists and 7 steals to lead Lions, while 20-year-old former Myerscough guard Bradley Kaboza, who has just returned to the UK after a year in Iceland, finished with 21 points.
“It was a great victory for the programme, a great win,” Head Coach James Vear told Hoopsfix. “The kids did an incredible job of sticking to the game plan and executing down the stretch.
“We spoke to them before the game and the big thing I said was we had nothing to lose and everything to gain and I think they went out there with that attitude.
“There was a period in the game when we were down by 12 and we could have crumbled but they kept it together and our older guys did a great job of making sure the younger guys felt comfortable in those situations.
“Jase (Harrison) and Bradley (Kaboza) did an incredible job. Jase particularly had one of the greatest games in Barking Abbey history in terms of stat lines and baskets at big moments down the stretch. It was a great win for the program.”
2004 born Zamoku Welche added 19 points, 5 rebounds and 4 blocks for London.
STATEMENT FROM THE LONDON LIONS: due to a recent incident involving Covid-19 contact-tracing, per NHS regulations, the Lions will not be able to field our full team for today’s BBL game versus Surrey, and therefore our Division One team will compete in their place.
— London Lions (@LondonLions) September 24, 2021
Surrey were without Andrew Lawrence, Rob Gilchrist and Americans Stanley Davis Jr. and Lamar Hamrick for the match up, but were still heavy favourites, featuring seasoned pros including Tayo Ogedengbe (24 points), plus Americans Martelle McLemore (19 points) and Saiquan Jamison (16 points and 12 rebounds).
Lions BBL players are expected to come out of isolation today and suit up on Sunday against Plymouth City Patriots at the Copper Box.