Report: Bristol Flyers 95-71 London City Royals
Friday, January 17th 2020
Flyers improved to 3-3 in the BBL Championship, following a 95-71 victory against the visiting London City Royals.
Levi Bradley led all scorers, with a season-high 23 points in 23 minutes off the bench, whilst Fred Thomas filled the box score with a 13 point, 15 rebound double-double.
Flyers got off to a perfect start with Daniel Edozie elevating to win the tip-off and Lewis Champion located Raphell Thomas-Edwards in the corner for a three-pointer. With Fred Thomas scoring after multiple offensive rebounds, Royals coach Lloyd Gardner had seen enough and called his first time-out with an early 8-2 lead for Flyers.
Flyers were able to contain Royals out of the early break and extend their lead behind a second Lewis Champion three. Edozie battled hard for an offensive rebound and drew a shooting foul from Ekperuoh, converting both free throws.
A strong drive from Royals guard Ed Lucas allowed Ekperuoh to spot-up for a corner three. Flyers defence managed to produce multiple steals and Fred Thomas made the fast break score. A soaring putback dunk from Thomas followed next time down the floor.
Royals were able to cut into the lead with three-point shooting of their own from Will Neighbour and Saunders. Kyle Carey drove down the lane for a lay-up to cut the lead to two points and Coach Kapoulas called for a timeout of his own. Levi Bradley brought energy off the bench, grabbing his own miss and laying it home. Fred Thomas continued his assault on the rim, grabbing a pass out of the air and running the floor for a forceful dunk.
Royals Captain Orlan Jackman displayed his tenacity on offence, grabbing his own miss after being blocked by Bradley and forcing his way to the basket for a late score to make it 21-18 at the end of the first quarter.
Royals tied the game with a triple from Lucas. With Flyers unable to connect, London took the lead for the first time behind a turnaround jump shot from Neighbour in the low post. Bradley put his team back in the driving seat with a three-pointer.
Edozie’s defensive presence bothered Elvisi Dusha on a drive and forced him into a travel. With the momentum regained, Gentrey Thomas completed a silky drive for a baby hook finish.
Royals were able to make it close again, with Carey completing a second chance score and Lucas pulling up at the elbow for two. Bradley finished a highlight reel play late in the shot clock, pivoting past his defender to bank home a mid-range jumpshot.
A Saunders three-pointer triggered a Coach Kapoulas time-out with Flyers behind 40-42 with under a minute left in the half. Royals held on for the last shot, Ed Lucas drove in for a lay-up to give the visitors a four point lead at the break 40-44.
Gentrey Thomas was fouled on a drive to the basket and tied the game with a free-throw. Flyers kept up the paint scoring with Thomas-Edwards completing another drive to retake the lead.
Gentrey Thomas once again broke down the Royals defence off the drive and drew a foul from Dusha. Coach Gardner called a timeout and Jackman came out with energy, grabbing an offensive rebound and drawing a shooting foul
Another Champion triple saw Flyers extend their lead again but Saunders hit another timely three-pointer in response. Edozie and Neighbour continued their battle in the paint. Edozie contained Neighbour’s drive and then blocked his shot. Neighbour responded with a defensive stand on the low block, drawing an offensive foul from Edozie. Gentrey Thomas collapsed the Royals defence with another strong drive and found Bradley for a corner three to end the third quarter with Flyers ahead 70-62.
Gentrey Thomas remained Flyers’ offensive catalyst, splashing a three-pointer and then weaving through the Royals defence for a reverse lay-up. A beautiful round the back pass from Thomas found Edozie open for an easy lay-up.
Royals upped their defensive intensity and were able to force back to back turnovers, but Flyers were in lockdown mode on the defensive end. Thomas-Edwards stood strong on a Lucas drive. Gentrey Thomas denied Dusha on a lay-up attempt and Taylor was able to seize multiple steals.
Royals began to tire, giving up multiple baskets in transition including another Edozie dunk. The Flyers Captain finished with a 10 point, 11 rebound double-double.
A huge three-pointer from Bradley saw Flyers extend the lead to 90-69 with just over two minutes remaining. Jackman was able to muscle in for a lay-up but Thomas-Edwards responded with a tenacious put-back score of his own.
Thomas-Edwards underlined an excellent team performance with a high-flying block on a Jackman shot attempt to give the Flyers a chance to run out the clock and secure a 95-71 victory.
Images courtesy of JMPUK.