Scorchers suffer upset from the London Lions
In what ended up being a spectacle of a game, fans poured into Surrey Sports Park ahead of the season opener against the London Lions.
Welcoming back season ticket holders and new faces was a joy to see as the stage was set and both teams took to the floor for the first time in 18 months.
Unfortunate news meant that the Lions squad were out for the game due to covid isolations resulting in the Division 1 side stepping in and playing in replacement. This team was made up of the Barking Abbey Academy coached by James Vear.
Scorchers were missing four key individuals in Americans Stanley Davis Jr and Lamar Hamrick, as well as GB stars Andrew Lawrence and Robert Gilchrist.
Stepping on the court for the scorchers saw a starting line up of Tayo, Raftopoulos, McLemore, Jamison and Robertin.
As the ball went up Scorchers took no time in showing there physical dominance as Legend Robetin opened the game with a thunderous dunk. The young fearless Lions squad did not back down as they fought hard finishing the quarter all squared at 20 apiece.
New comer Tola Okiki stepped up in the second quarter with aggressive defence and slashes to the hoop. Tayo added to this run pushing the Sorchers lead out to 5 mid way through the 2nd quarter.
Just as it seemed the home side may stretch out the lead to finish the half, the Lions led by Harrison finished the quarter strong with Scorchers up by one point 42-41.
Tayo started the third quarter hot! Getting to the basket at will, he would finish the game top scoring with 24 points. This sparked some life into the Scorchers side taking an 11 point lead after a lob from Raftopoulos and finish above the rim from Robertin.
The relentlessness of this young Lions side capitalised on Scorchers lack of concentration and brought the game back with huge plays from Kaboza. A huge blocked shot and fast break lay up put the Lions up by 1 with 17 seconds left.
The Scorchers calm and collected returned a clutch bucket from Martelle McLemore putting them up by 1.
With only 7 seconds left Lions had an aggressive drive to the hoop drawing the foul and headed to the line. Composure from Welche knocked down both free throws taking the unexpected victory.
An exciting ending to a disappointing finish for the Scorchers. However the team looks to bounce back on the road to the Leicester Riders Sunday 26th September.