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Bristol keep cool take victory over Cheshire

Bristol keep cool take victory over Cheshire


British Basketball League Match Report:

Bristol keep cool take victory over Cheshire

31 MARCH 2019

Final Score: 87–75

The Bristol Flyers were able to overcome a run of poor form on Sunday night to take a victory over mid-table competitors Cheshire Phoenix.

Cheshire came into the rolling off a big win against champions Leicester, while Bristol suffered a heavy loss to the DBL Sheffield Sharks. Both sides were hungry to take a 2-1 advantage in the head-to-head and secure some vital points as playoffs draw closer.

Image Credit:  BBL

Image Credit: BBL

Bristol appeared unshaken by their previous game, they came out strong in the first quarter with 8 early points as Cheshire struggled to find open shots. Pinpoint free throws kept the home side in the contest, however, they struggled to keep the Flyers out with plenty of offensive rebounds giving the visitors some easy buckets.

Bristol headed into the second quarter ahead by 10 and continued to build their lead. Momcilo Latinovic seemed to be the only player early in the quarter that could put the ball in the basket for the Phoenix, but as it drew closer to halftime they began to string buckets together. The Flyers maintained their 10 point lead as both teams went into the halftime break.

The Phoenix came out full of energy as the second half commenced, a series of defensive stops helped them start the quarter 10-5. Bristol matched their intensity and the third quarter was incredibly scrappy, with players on both sides taking knocks and going to ground. Both teams came out bruised, but Bristol was ahead 60-46 going into the fourth quarter.

The intensity of the third quarter left players on both sides blowing wind in fourth, but that didn’t stop Cheshire bringing a full court press. While the Phoenix did find success in forcing turnovers, they struggled to convert them into points.

As it wound down to four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Cheshire’s Allen Jordan lit up the stadium with an absolutely electrifying two-handed jam. The bucket energised his team, and the Phoenix pulled the deficit back to 10, forcing a timeout from Bristol with 3 minutes left. Cheshire pulled the the game to only 6 points, but Bristol came up clutch when it mattered most.

Bristol managed to squeak the ball out of a triple team on the sideline to PG Lewis Champion, who drove hard to the ring. His layup narrowly bobbed out of the ring to the sound of the referee’s whistle and a call of goaltending, much to the protestations of the home crowd.

The Flyers kept their cool as the clock wound down with Cheshire players almost inside their jerseys. Closer the shot clock ran down with the ball in Champion’s hands with less than a minute to go. After failing to create space for himself, Champion fired a bullet pass to Fred Thomas to catch and shoot on the wing. Thomas knocked down the clutch three as the shot clock sounded – the basket put a dagger in the heart of the Cheshire team as Bristol closed out the game 87-75.

Following their win, Bristol will next face the London Lions at home on April 5, while Cheshire will look to bounce back when they face the Leicester Riders on April 7 at the Cheshire Oaks Arena.

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