Report: London City Royals 91-83 Bristol Flyers
Thursday, February 7th 2019
Bristol Flyers battled against adversity but fell to their third straight defeat against London City Royals away from home.
The Royals maintained their 100 per cent home record this season in a controversial affair, which saw Coach Kapoulas sent to the dressing room in the third quarter after picking up two technical fouls.
Fred Thomas led the Flyers with 24 points and eight rebounds, whilst Daniel Edozie had a 10 point, 10 rebound double double.
Thomas hit a pull-up jump shot from the top of the key to open Flyers account, but Royals responded with a 7-0 run to establish an early lead, capped with a steal and fast break three-pointer from Ed Lucas.
The game remained choppy with both teams racking up early turnovers. Tevin Falzon had a shot turned away at the rim and Coach K sent his second unit to the scorer’s table, looking to change the momentum.
The Flyers’ bench struggled to get going, with Matthew Bryan-Amaning rejecting a shot and then hitting a triple at the other end. The defensive intensity from the home team remained high, with further turnovers preventing Bristol from finding any rhythm.
McCloud and Thomas checked back into the game with renewed focus and both hit three-pointers to bring the game close. Royals’ press failed to contain Bristol on the break, with Edozie finding Chris Taylor for a lay-up to close out the quarter 17-16.
Wes Washpun seized control of the second quarter and grabbed an errant pass to make a fast break dunk. Bryan-Amaning remained an active rim protector, turning away an Edozie shot attempt that otherwise would have made an easy two.
Washpun turned distributor, feeding Elvisi Dusha for a pair of threes on the wing, which was responded with a triple from Lewis Champion.
Will Neighbour was next to find his range for Royals, hitting a three and then making a turnaround jump shot in the post to restore a lead for Royals. Taylor again closed out the quarter with a lay-up, sending the teams to the dressing room with the score 36-31.
The third quarter took a disastrous turn. McCloud fouled Washpun on a three-point attempt and the referees quickly assigned a bench technical to the Flyers, shortly followed by a pair of technicals for Coach Kapoulas seeing him ejected from the game. Washpun had five three throws to follow to extend Royals’ lead to double digits.
Flyers’ assistant coach Chris Bourne took charge of the team, calling a timeout to bring the team together.
Royals continued to break through the Flyers’ defence and Ashley Hamilton made the highlight reel with a fast break dunk. With both teams trading baskets a high flying put back from Deshawnee Much energised the home crowd, as Royals finished the third with a 9-0 run including dagger threes from Lucas and Much to end the period 70-52.
With a home victory on the horizon, Royals began to take the foot off the gas. Thomas took advantage, scything through for a pair of forceful slam dunks on back-to-back possessions to trigger a Royals timeout.
Flyers’ pressure defence were able to produce multiple turnovers, which in turn led to fast break scores for both McCloud and Thomas.
McCloud was red hot with a pair of transition threes to bring the game within seven points with under a minute to play. It would be a case of too little, too late, as Royals held on at the free throw line to close out the game 91-83.
Images courtesy of JMPUK.