It was a match of testaments for London Lightning on Sunday afternoon.
Coming from a two-game losing streak in the previous week’s matchups, which included the previous night’s thriller-turned-nightmare against K-W Titans, the 11-2 London Lightning of the National Basketball League of Canada (NBL-Canada) welcomed 3-4 Flint United of The Basketball League.
In the moments leading up to the match, it felt as if the Bolts, who seemed all-powerful before their first loss, were at risk of seeing their dominant lead in the NBL-Canada standings erode, providing the further possibility of postseason intrigue in a shortened NBL-C season.
Said possibility more or less went away on a Sunday afternoon, when the Lightning demolished Flint, 113-83, in front of an almost-sellout crowd in attendance at Budweiser Gardens.
It was a match of clear dominance on the post and the ability to spread out the scoring for the Bolts. Running a full 10-man rotation, seven players on the Lightning scored in double figures. The team’s bench, which had stayed even on the previous night’s match against the Titans, had come out on fire, scoring 74 points to set the pace of the game.
London’s ability to time and set up their offence also played a part in their thirty-point victory. The Lightning, whose leading assisters Jaylon Tate (second in NBL-Canada with 5.6 assists/game) and Chris Jones (fifth in NBL-Canada with 4.8 assists/game), stayed on the bench for an extensive part of the game, and looked more prepared than their opponents and stayed on course. The Lightning out-assisted the United with 28 to 16 assists.
This was complimented nicely by the dominance on the post. Three players on the Lightning rebounded in double figures and London took advantage of their rebounding advantage, rebounding 68 times compared to the United’s 36. With dominance on the posts established, the Lightning saw little resistance to a clear victory. The Lightning scored 58 points in the paint.
The United were coming off an 84-110 loss to Sudbury Five last night.
Rookie shooting guard Josiah Mastrandea led the Lightning with 21 points. The Port Coquitlam native, who had signed with the Lightning in early March after completing his college career at Simon Fraser University, held limited impact so far in his NBL-C season, but led the Lightning in scoring today, scoring six three-point shots in excellent timing.
Coming off a statement victory against Flint, London will be looking forward to avenging their most recent loss when they host the K-W Titan on Wednesday, April 6, at 7:00 p.m., at Budweiser Gardens.
The Lightning are 3-1 against the Titans this season, including two home wins. The Lightning have won both their home matches, 104-90 and 111-93, earlier in the season, while London and Kitchener remain split at Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
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