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London Lions continue historic BBL and WBBL Championship double – watch live on Sky Sports | Basketball News


London Lions Women beat Sevenoaks Suns 67-58 in a home league game played at the Copper Box Arena in March

Up to 15,000 fans are expected at the O2 Arena for Sunday’s BBL and WBBL play-off finals and the London Lions will appear in both in the hope of securing a historic double.

The Lions have had a stellar season so far and they have a chance to claim glory in the British Basketball League for both men and women. It would be the first time a team has managed to do this, as they aim to do better than last year when the women’s team won but the men’s team fell at this same stage.

The women’s final is the first and sees them take on the Sevenoaks Suns, with coverage from 12.45pm on Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports YouTube. This is quickly followed by the Lions taking on the Leicester Riders in the men’s final with coverage starting at 3.45pm on the same channels.

These are the last pieces of silverware available to grab after a fantastic season of action on sky sports. The centerpiece will also feature British artist and producer Ayo Beatz performing a half-time show during the BBL Finals, while British dance group Flawless will perform during the WBBL Finals interval.

Between the two finals, fans can enjoy the BBL Slam Dunk Contest, featuring Piotr ‘Grabo’ Grabowski from Poland – winner of the FIBA ​​3×3 World Tour Final Dunk Contest 2021; Britain’s top dunker, Joel ‘The Royal Guard’ Henry; and Europe’s hottest dunk prospect, 21-year-old Bartek Szwed from Poland.

Historic Lions Team Campaigns

The men’s team broke barriers, becoming the first British basketball team to participate in the second round of the FIBA ​​Europe Cup, as well as reaching the final of the BBL Trophy.

The London Lions women’s team also broke records this season – posting the longest winning streak in WBBL history and becoming invincible in the WBBL Championship with a perfect 24 wins in 24 matches. Having already won the WBBL championship, cup and trophy, they have the potential to pull off a historic national sweep with a playoff win on Sunday.

Brett Burman, Managing Director of the London Lions, said: “We’ve had a record-breaking season with our incredible European run. I’m so proud of this team, not only our performances on the pitch, but also our initiatives off the pitch.

“We strive to give back to our local community and we so appreciate the support they’ve shown us this season. But at the end of the day, with basketball, it’s all about who’s the last team standing. Sunday’s game is monumental for us and we are ready to play.”

WBBL Final: London Lions vs Sevenoaks Suns, coverage from 12.45pm on Sky Sports Arena

The dream of an unprecedented quadruple continues for the London Lions who qualified for the play-off final with a dominating 104-59 semi-final victory over Scotland’s Caledonia Pride. Holly Winterburn was the top scorer for the Lions, who are unbeaten in all games of their domestic campaign.

In the other clash of the last four, the Sevenoaks Suns secured their place in the final with a hard-fought 66-64 victory over the Nottingham Wildcats. Janice Monakana was the Suns’ standout player with 24 points for her team.

It’s a clash between the two top seeds of the domestic season, but London Lions women’s coach Mark Clark feels confident.

“Obviously we’ve played and beaten Sevenoaks four times this season,” Clark said. “Our WBBL trophy final was one of our best defensive performances of the season. We felt they didn’t understand the level we were playing at and we brought our EuroCup level to that final.

“Both league games were more competitive and we prepared thinking they will give their best shot in this final. They will have to bring something different if they try to get the win. slowed down basketball or a different defensive setup, we believe we’ve prepared for whatever they will bring.

“At the end of the day, our team spirit is what has been key to our success this season – we pass the ball better than any team and respect everyone’s strengths. Our defense has brought us success this season. year and our pressure will once again make the difference.

“Our organization has serious aspirations and that forces us to be better in every game. We will be even better on Sunday.”

BBL Final: London Lions vs Sevenoaks Suns, coverage from 12.45pm on Sky Sports Arena

On the men’s side, the London Lions secured their place in the final with a 176-156 aggregate victory over the Bristol Flyers. Isaiah Reese, a former player for the Santa Cruz Warriors (G-League affiliate of Golden State), propelled the Lions to an unassailable lead in the second leg with a solid 28-point performance.

The Leicester Riders finished with a fantastic 25-2 record in the final standings, grabbing the top seed forcefully and finishing well ahead of the No.3 Lions, who went 16-11. The Riders earned a comfortable 209-162 aggregate victory over the Glasgow Rocks in their semi-final which ended on Monday night, with former Gonzaga University player Geno Crandall contributing 54 runs over the two sets.

Swingman Dirk Williams thinks the Lions are capable of claiming glory on Sunday afternoon.

“For us, it’s just about playing basketball as a team and staying together through adversity throughout the game,” he said. “We can’t be too high or too low because Leicester are a very good team and they’ve proven that all season. We just have to play our game and approach this with the right mindset as a team. .”

Burman added: “This game is unique because it’s a win-win event. Both teams have already played four playoff games and had all week to scout, strategize and understand each other to a higher degree. They have guns and their tempo starts and stops with Geno (Crandall) They are at their best creating open looks for others.

“Our focus has changed and at this point the regular season is out the window. Once the ball is on it’s a 40 minute battle. It’s the time we want, and I know our guys are ready to play on the big stage, under the bright lights. As a competitor, you can’t ask for anything better than that.”

Watch all the action live on Sky Sports YouTube and Sky Sports Arena this afternoon.




Sky Sports

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