Match Report - Caledonia Gladiators Narrowly Held Off by Lions After Tight Game, 95-87
It was ultimately a disappointing night for the Caledonia Gladiators as the London Lions took the win in a 95-87 game at the Copper Box Arena.
The Gladiators got off to an explosive start as David Sloan opened his BBL account with a three-point shot to put up the first points of the game.
Sloan went on to build on this start as he led the visitors to a 26-22 lead by the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Lions started to get into their rhythm more as they shut down the deficit and started to trade the lead with the Gladiators consistently.
It was the home side who were ahead as the teams went into the half time break after a dying seconds slam dunk from Ovie Soko to make it 49-47 for the Lions.
Sloan was the stand-out player on the court in the first half as he racked up 15 points by the break.
In the third quarter an impressive surge from Ali Fraser saw his side back in front as a string of lead changes and high-octane was displayed, giving fans their absolute money’s worth.
The third quarter drew to a close with the Gladiators ahead by a 71-68 score line.
As the final quarter dawned, the pressure began to amount for both sides as the tight and cagey nature of the game made it difficult for either side to take real control of the game
It was Darian Adams who stepped up to steer his Gladiators side into the lead as he consistently created and finished threatening scoring opportunities, giving him the title of points leader for the visitors.
In the closing minutes of the game a dramatic and tense back and forth battle took control as three-point leads came and went for both sides.
Sam Dekker made considerable contributions to his side throughout the game but especially in the third as he drove his team into a five-point lead which was enough to see his side take the W at the end.
The buzzer sounded after an explosive hanging dunk from Tomislav Zubčić to cap off the Lions 95-86 win after an undeniably enthralling and tight game at the Copper Box.
By Sam Scouller