Cheshire Phoenix have been made to wait once more for their first home BBL Championship victory of the season after a 87-72 loss to London Lions at the Cheshire Oaks Arena.
Despite an emphatic second quarter from the Nix, the momentum could not be sustained and Nigel Lloyd’s men.
The Lions came out of the blocks fast and established a stronghold of the game which looked at one stage to extinguish hopes early on, but five late points from Jordan Williams saw the quarter end 25-12 in favour of the visitors.
Danny Huffor’s first points in Phoenix blue opened the second period but London turned the screw further and extended to a 21-point lead (38-17). Coach John Lavery called a vital time out, and his men duly responded as a whole team effort saw an 18-2 run posted to give the home crowd reason to believe once more and going into the half time break had cut the deficit down to five; 43-48.
Captain David Aliu brought the game to within just one score with the first points of the second half, but Jaron Lame was instrumental in helping his London teammates regain a healthy 12-point lead, before Jordan Williams and Aliu pulled Cheshire back to set up a grandstand finale.
However it was not to be despite Jeff Dirkin’s best attempts at both ends of the court, London pulled ahead to meaning the Nix Nation would need to wait just a little while longer to secure that historic first home BBL Championship victory.
Leading scorer for Cheshire on the night was Jordan Williams with 17 points, followed by Dirkin with 12, eight of which coming in the final quarter, and Kinu Rochford posting a double double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Speaking at the end of the game, assistant coach James Brice lamented the early set back of being 21 points adrift: “It was a tough first quarter and obviously going 21 down early doesn’t help and we had our backs against the wall straight away.
“We did very well to get back into the game in the second quarter we were in a good position at halftime.
“Overall it was a game of runs, but we needed more stops and runs we didn’t get that, but we’ll work on that during the week.
“It’s still early in the season but we want to make sure that the guys are on the same page. It doesn’t happen overnight, we brought Danny in this week and he’s had a few days with us but once he’s settled we’ll start to see that consistency throughout and hopefully it’ll all start to click.”
Cheshire Phoenix’s next opportunity to secure a home victory will come against Leeds Force on November 8th at the Cheshire Oaks Arena, Ellesmere Port Sports Village, with tip-off at 5:30pm.