Smith - 'We want to make a statement at the O2'
Posted: Saturday, September 23rd 2017
Sunday, September 24th 2017
Bristol Flyers suffered late heartbreak as they exited the British All-Stars Championship at the semi-final stage.
Flyers beat Newcastle Eagles and Worcester Wolves in the group stage but lost out twice to London Lions.
There was no shame in defeat for Flyers who gave an excellent account of themselves, losing out to the eventual champions Lions.
Flyers opened the tournament in stunning fashion, thumping the Newcastle Eagles 41-22.
Eagles called a power play early on, however it was the Flyers who prospered more during the two minute stint, keeping the ball well and scoring as the shot clock ticked on. Brandon Boggs and Adam Weary both getting big threes.
Coach Kapoulas then cheekily pressed the golden buzzer as Mike Vigor launched a three - the shot was good and Flyers began their own two minute power play with six points.
Flyers continued in the same vein - Boggs getting several dunks and Rohndell Goodwin topping up the scoring tally.
The power play carried the Flyers through to a shock 41-22 win over Newcastle Eagles to set up group stage tie with the London Lions who defeated the Glasgow Rocks 27-10.
The second game would prove to be a bigger challenge, as the London Lions limited Flyers to just six points in the 12 minute game.
Flyers won the tip but Goodwin's three attempt came up short - Lions headed up the court and got a three of their own, racing into an early 2-12 lead.
Coach Kapoulas had great luck with a power play in the first game and looked to use that tactic again - hitting the buzzer as Boggs went close.
Flyers however failed to register a single attempt in the two minute power play. Lions had similar luck when calling their own power play, however it had no effect on the final scoreline, London taking it 6-25.
Lions progressed to the semi-final whilst Flyers would have to take on the winner of the Surrey Scorcher - Worcester Wolves game.
Flyers would need to beat Wolves for a place in the final four.
Coach K's men got off to a good start - Worcester forced into calling an early power play to close a 10-5 gap.
Wolves got themselves into a 14-17 lead by the end of the two minute period, the Bristol Flyers Coach then pushed the golden buzzer to signal a power play of his own.
Bristol were ruthlessly efficient, scoring multiple times and limiting Wolves to just three points in those two minutes where points count double, up 27-17.
Flyers held out to make the semi-final draw, 36-21.
Bristol Flyers would have a chance for redemption in the semi-finals and avenge their earlier loss to the London Lions.
It was a tentative start for both teams with neither setting the O2 alight - the score standing at just 0-4 after four minutes.
Lions were playing some strong defence but Flyers began to pick their way through, Coach K hitting the golden buzzer - Flyers ending the power play up 10-9.
London attempted to call their own power play, but waited just two seconds too late.
The two teams traded points for the rest of the 12-minute game before a dramatic finish.
Lions called a timeout with five seconds left on the clock and Flyers in possession down by two.
Mike Vigor had limited options to inbound the ball thanks to some more sterling defence from London. Vigor's attempted inbound was picked off by Lions and with it Flyers chance of making the final was extinguished (16-18).
Bristol Flyers open the regular BBL Championship season at home to Plymouth Raiders next Saturday, September 30th (7.30pm).
Photos courtesy of JMPUK.
Posted: Saturday, September 23rd 2017
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