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Flyers Complete Dream Start To BBL Season

Bristol Flyers 65-56 Plymouth Raiders
Glasgow Rocks 62-79 Bristol Flyers

Bristol Flyers emerged victorious from their first weekend in the British Basketball League with a comprehensive two wins from two and firmly marked a statement of intent to the rest of the league.

A sell out crowd packed the SGS WISE Arena on Saturday night to watch the Flyers’ debut with a West Country derby against the Plymouth Raiders. No sign of nerves from the newcomers as the Flyers started strongly with American summer signings Doug Herring and Alif Bland making an instant impact. Racing to a ten point lead at the end of the first quarter to take it 21-11. Power-forward Alif Bland claiming five points and three rebounds.

Plymouth Raiders came out fighting in the second but tight defence from the Flyers ensured they held their lead and their nerve. Despite a late run of baskets from the Raiders, Bristol went in at half time with the score 33-27.

Raiders took the lead for the first time of the game in the third quarter but Flyers kept calm and proved their team spirit as both the youngest and oldest players combined to keep the faith. England U18 international Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye finished with nine points and three rebounds while 29 year-old Doug McLaughlin Williams joint top scored with fellow American Alif Bland on 14 points. McLaughlin Williams shooting 44 % from the three-point line.

With six minutes to play in the final quarter the home crowd spurred the Flyers on as Bristol led by just three points. Some impressive movement by the Flyers offence led them to a five-point advantage with just five minutes to go.  Captain Greg Streete and Alif Bland both made crucial defensive plays for the Flyers as they finished victorious 65-56.

Coach Kapoulas praised his team afterwards saying “It was a great way to start the BBL Campaign. We had a good first half but I think we really stepped it up defensively in the fourth and we found the open guys which was great.

“I really think we have added experience to the team. That certainly showed in the fourth quarter and we had big players like Doug McLaughlin-Williams who really stepped up in the fourth. We’ve certainly added a depth to our team and it was a real team performance. It was great having a bench who were able to make the big plays when needed.

“The crowd really helped us especially in the fourth. I hope they enjoyed it and keep coming back to support us like that in all our home games!”

After Saturday’s success the Flyers travelled north of the border to take on Glasgow Rocks. The Bristol side made it two from two in the opening BBL weekend as they defeated the Scottish side 79-62. Just one score separated Coach Kapoulas’ side as they led 56-53 heading into the final ten minutes and outscored their hosts 23-9. Roy Owen connecting on a three-pointer that helped open up the decisive advantage and complete a memorable maiden weekend.

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