Kapoulas says Flyers will bounce back after losing cup final
Head coach Andreas Kapoulas insists his Bristol Academy Flyers will bounce back from last night’s National Cup final heartbreak by going on to win their second successive league title. Kapoulas watched his side suffer an agonising 64-63 defeat at the hands of London Leopards in Sheffield – in a game in which his side had led from the early stages all the way up until the final two minutes.
The Filton College-based team last night made the long trip back without the trophy for a second successive year, having lost to Brixton Topcats 12 months ago – but Kapoulas is determined not to let the disappointment have a negative effect on the rest of his side’s season.
“It is really going to hurt for a few days,” admitted Kapoulas. “The fact we were in control of the game for the majority of it makes it that little bit harder to take.
“It happens in basketball sometimes and now it is my job to lift the players up again. We are still top of Division One and have a chance to win the National Trophy, so it is important now that we put this disappointment behind us and focus on what is ahead.
“We suffered a similar disappointment this time last year and then went on to win the league. That’s what we’ll be aiming to do again.
“The guys can all go away with their heads held high. We’ve been in the last three finals and that is an achievement in itself. They all played a great game, but it just didn’t go our way. Sometimes you just have to accept that.”
Flyers had a 12-point cushion going into the final quarter and looked certain to see the game out before a scintillating display from the Leopards in the last ten minutes completed an unlikely comeback.
The two sides were locked at 59-59 going into the final minute before Leopards’ David Buchberger sunk a three-pointer.
“We played a fantastic game up until that final two minutes,” said Kapoulas. “Maybe we suffered from a bit of tiredness in the final quarter and some of the decisions didn’t go our way. London Leopards deserve a lot of credit because they did well to stay within touching distance, even when we were well on top of the game.”
Flyers were backed by a vociferous travelling contingent, and Kapoulas added: “I want to thank them all for coming up. It’s a long journey to come here and we really appreciated their support. I just wish we could have won the game to give them something to celebrate on the way home.”
Flyers will look to consolidate their position at the top of National League Division One when they host Worthing Thunder on Saturday (7pm).