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October 19, 2019 by Tom Bonnett

SURREY SCORCHERS 82 LONDON CITY ROYALS 84

London City Royals maintained their 100% BBL Cup record by snatching a late victory at the Sports Park Arena.

Scorchers held a narrow lead midway through the final quarter but Royals again found the way to win as the hosts once more came out on the wrong side of a tight scoreline.

Scorchers held an early 10-5 advantage, following consecutive triples for Henry Wilkins and Marcus White, but steadily Royals  closed the gap and led for the first time with 1:20 left in the first quarter.

White notched another big three from the elbow but it was Darjus Lavrinovic’s own triple on the buzzer which split the two sides after ten minutes.

Scorchers, though, came roaring back in Q2 and, buoyed by a nine-point run, turned the deficit into a seven-point lead. Further bolstered by strong defence, Scorchers led 40-33 with seconds remaining in the half, but then came the moment which ultimately proved crucial. Coach Creon was called for a technical foul and, with Tayo Ogedengbe adjudged to have committed his own foul, Royals were invited to make a three-point play from the line.

They took that momentum into the third quarter, and when Darjus Lavrinovic scored a turnaround double the Royals were up by six. Scorchers replied with tenacity and Wilkins’ free-throws at the end of the third period brought them back to within five.

Royals appeared able to defend their slender lead into the fourth, but Scorchers refused to lie down. Tayo’s ‘and-one’ play brought them level at 68 apiece, and Chip Flanigan’s free-throws gave the hosts into a four-point advantage.

Lavrinovic, though, replied with his own ‘and-one’ going into the final four minutes, and even though Marcus White’s double from the line put Scorchers back in front at 77-76, Royals took advantage of the rising foul count to forge ahead.

Wilkins’ landed the game’s final score from deep, but it was all in vain.

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