- National Teams
London Lions head to Hungary trailing by 15 points in their EuroLeague qualifier against DVTK with the second leg taking place on Wednesday evening at 5pm.
The task to turn the tie around is certainly challenging with the Lions looking to make history by making it to the regular season for the first time.
Can London complete the comeback? Here are three factors:
It’s going to be a ‘hostile’ environment. The travelling supporters certainly made their presence felt at the Copper Box and it should be an even greater atmosphere in Hungary. But these are the games you want to play and there are no easy encounters when it comes to EuroLeague. 15 points is not insurmountable, but London cannot afford a slow start.
Lions were not completely outplayed by any means. It was a tough night, where they didn’t really click for a number of reasons, but a 9-0 close in the final 4:42 proved costly. Holly Winterburn won’t go 1-of-13 again, and if you discount Juicy Landrum’s 5-of-9 shooting effort, the four other starters were a combined 4-of-30 which is telling. The Lions also missed six of their 10 free throw attempts and were at 22% from three-point range. They still held DVTK to 63 points and a similar defensive effort could be enough if the offence lives up to its billing.
Not long arrived in the capital, Gustafson already looked a handful for the opposition with an early masterclass in the paint off the bench before finishing with a team-high 13 points along with seven boards in just 19 minutes. Last season’s leading scorer in the competition can be a major force inside for the Lions, especially with Cheridene Green out and captain Temi Fagbenle’s unknown status. London will of course need multiple contributors if they are to claw their way back in the tie, but Gustafson could play a major role with another week of getting up to speed with her new team.