The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks handed the London Lions their second loss of the 2020-21 season on Friday night.
Vince Macaulay’s capital side were hoping to bounce back Friday following their overtime loss to the Newcastle Eagles on Sunday, but despite an encouraging late comeback they fell just short, with Sheffield picking up the 70-61 victory.
An inspired display from Antwon Lillard, who dropped a double double on the night, with 21 points and 10 rebounds, led the Sharks to a nine point victory, even though the Yorkshire side trailed for the first three quarters.
The Lions got off to a perfect start, as former NBA player DeAndre Liggins started the game on form, hitting two early threes, and a partnership between him and Kevin Ware appears to be developing.
However, the Sharks never let the Lions get away from them, as both defences proved to be on top for most of the game.
Sunday saw double away wins for both Newcastle Eagles and Manchester Giants as Leicester Riders and Cheshire Phoenix both tasted defeat for the first time this season.
Newcastle handed the Riders their first opening day loss since 2006, in a game where that saw almost 200 points in total, 98-102, whilst the North-West derby between Cheshire Phoenix and Manchester Giants saw the Mancunians pick up a 92-98 victory.
Despite a double-double performance from Kahron Ross, of 26 points and 10 rebounds, ten of which came during the final quarter, Manchester just managed to hold off Cheshire, backed by 23 points from Alex Ouandie and 7 assists from Jack Hudson.
Evan Maxwell’s 26 points was at the fore-front of the Eagles’ offensive play, supported by a double-double from Rahmon Fletcher, which Riders’ substitute Maurice Walker matched with one of his own – despite Leicester ultimately falling just short.
Newcastle now extend their lead at the top of Group 3, whilst Manchester Giants also now sit in first place of Group 2.