London Lions land BBL and WBBL Cups in Birmingham double

London Lions pulled off a clean sweep over Leicester Riders to win the BBL and WBBL Cups in Birmingham.

The Lions' women built a lead from start to finish of the WBBL Cup Final for a big 95-42 win at the Utilita Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Mikiah Herbert Harrigan paced London with 19 points and after starting quietly, homegrown talent Holly Winterburn added 16, which earned her Cup MVP honours as every Lions player got on the scoreboard.

Oliana Squires showed no fear and managed a game-high 23 points for the Riders.

Lions captain Shanice Beckford-Norton said: “We know what we can do defensively, and we just needed to switch that on. Once we did that there was no stopping us after that.”

The Lions' men also beat the Riders, but by a closer margin of 79-71.

Looking comfortable going into the final quarter, London were all of a sudden bombarded by a spirited Riders outfit as last season’s Cup winners staged a fightback thanks to a 10-0 run.

They needed someone to steady the ship and that man was Sam Dekker, who hit the first six points of the fourth for his side, settling the nerves and guiding them to victory.

Dekker also scooped MVP honours with a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds in front of a sell-out crowd that included several social media influencers and footballer Troy Deeney.

“This is step one for us,” he said. “It’s an important one but we got to stay consistent now. We’ll celebrate this as we wanted to win this and we have achieved it. It’s a great feeling.”

Dekker added: “For me, playing in Russia, Turkey, I’ve played in some great venues and this final was definitely up there in terms of atmosphere and intensity. It’s great for basketball in Britain and I’m happy to be part of it.”

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