Newcastle Eagles swooped into the Lion’s Den to give London their first loss of the season, 69 – 56, behind the dominant play of former Hackney College standout, Darius Defoe.
After a dominant 30 point win against Plymouth Raiders just 2 days earlier, expectations were understandably high as the reigning BBL champions came to the Capital on Sunday afternoon. However, Defoe, a former Midnight Madness Champion, quickly let the developing London squad know, they are still a work in progress. Defoe led the way for the Eagles with an impressive double double with 19 points and 10 rebounds in a relatively low scoring game, showing a soft touch around the basket and his trademark athleticism on the glass.
Defoe has started the new season on a MVP-type tear, shooting a blistering hot 66 fg% from the floor while averaging 17 points and 8 rebounds. When asked about the win, Defoe said “We played (good team) D, kept running and stayed together”.
In Lion’s defense, they were hit with a pre-game setback with All-Star point guard Rod Brown being declared unable to play just minutes before tip-off which clearly played a part in the slow Lions start to the game. “Without Friday’s MVP Rod Brown playing in the game, we knew it would be a tough adjustment for us so early in the season” said Lions boss Vince Macaulay.
In Brown’s absence, new signing Lovell ‘The Chef’ Cook stepped up to the plate and did his best to carry the load with a valiant effort of 25 points personal, accounting for almost half of the teams total output. “It’s bittersweet for me, because we didn’t get the win” Lovell said of his prolific shooting display.
Lions will get a full 10 days to get Brown back to full health and continue to work on team chemistry in preparation for their next game vs Cheshire Phoenix and their new star-signing, former NBA (Denver Nuggets) swingman Julius Hodge who visit the Copper Box on Tuesday, 4th November (19:30 tip). Tickets are available via Ticketmaster or at a specially discounted rate for all LSB and CBL teams, players, coaches and supporters by using promo code LSB25 here: LSB LIONS TICKET PROMO