London Lions Head Coach Petar Bozic draws up a play for the team

London Lions clinch EuroCup playoff spot

London Lions have clinched a spot in the BKT EuroCup playoffs for the second successive season after defeating Israel’s Hapoel Shlomo Tel Aviv 96-100.

In a game played in the Aleksandar Nikolić Hall in Serbia, owing to security concerns amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, new Lions signing David Nwaba led the scoring with 17 points in his debut for the team, while teammates Conor Morgan and Luke Nelson chipped in with 15 each.

The win means the Lions are now 10-4, one game back of second-placed Tel Aviv (11-3) and three games behind group leaders Paris (13-1).

With only four matches left in the regular season, this sets up a tense climax in the race for a top-two finish that would award direct passage to the quarterfinals.

Lions Head Coach Petar Božić said: ”Firstly, a very important game for us.

”This win brings us one step closer to the goal and expectations that we have, and what this team deserves.”

Božić is no stranger to the Aleksander Nikolić Hall, having spent time there as both player and coach for Partizan between 2004 and 2016, and he was delighted to mark his return with a victory.

He said: ”So much memories and emotions connect me with this arena, where I spent almost all my playing career and made the first steps as a coach.

”It was great to be back home and a win came, just a great present.”

The BKT EuroCup is comprised of 20 clubs from 14 nations, including France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Spain and Turkey, and is regarded as the second-best European professional basketball club tournament behind Euroleague.

Teams compete in two groups of ten, and only six teams in each group advance to the next round, with the top two awarded direct entry into the Quarterfinals.

The London Lions are the first team from the British Basketball League (BBL) to take part in EuroCup since Guildford Heat in 2007, now renamed as the Surrey Scorchers.

The Lions next feature in the EuroCup later this evening against Joventut Barcelona in the Copper Box Arena in Stratford.

Featured Image Credit: London Lions

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