The Leicester Riders were crowned the BBL playoff champions after a closely contested matchup against the London Lions which ended 78-75.
The game started off in favour of the Lions who, essentially being at home in the O2 arena, had the crowds help and the early momentum. Isaiah Reese was hot from the jump, hitting a lot of difficult shots in the first half.
Isaiah Reese from way outside!— bbl fix (@BblFix) May 15, 2022
🎥 Sky Sports pic.twitter.com/PkFTkmhZLh
His performance and energy was matched by that of Darrien Nelson-Henry, the Riders captain who was having his way on the offensive end in the paint. He would finish the game with 15 points on 6/9 shooting from the field.
The second half was more of the same, tightly contested throughout. However, London were able to stretch the lead and at one point, had it up to a 6 point lead before this Conner Washington 3-ball.
The game would ultimately come down to some key possessions late in the 4th. A mid-range jumper from the reigning MVP Geno Crandall gave Leicester a nice 3-point cushion and from there would only need to hold onto possession and run out the clock. However, the Lions were able to get a steal and with time winding down, the Riders ended up fouling with 2.8 seconds left, up 3.
It was down to one last play for the Lions, an inbound play which unfortunately, did not work out. In a play that looked like it was designed for their shooter Cugini, Geno Crandall was able to read it and grab the steal, securing the win for the riders. Crandall would end up as the games MVP with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.
This topped off an exciting day for British Basketball and ended a great season which has seen a lot of growth in the top flight of British Basketball, including great attendance from fans throughout the year and plenty of highlights and notable games as well as a presence in the European game.