London City Royals edged London Lions 90-82 in overtime to win the BBL Trophy in a classic clash in Glasgow.

Ashley Hamilton was the MVP, grabbing 25 points and 14 rebounds, in the first final in league history to go beyond regulation.

But it took a collective effort, with Matthew Bryan-Amaning the energiser and heroes aplenty elsewhere as the Royals made good on a bold promise to take silverware in the franchise’s debut campaign.

A late Ed Lucas three-pointer was required to tie the game at 72-72 in the dying seconds of regulation, gave the Royals all the momentum heading into overtime.

And the eventual victors got a decisive push at the start of the extra period, scoring the first six points to take control of the game, as London’s hopes of a domestic clean sweep evaporated.

“We didn’t just want to be another team competing to compete, or be in the middle of the pack,” said Bryan-Amaning, who added 26 points to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists and four blocks.

“We were coming in to win. People thought I was saying that but it is truly what I believed. I believed in my team-mates. I knew chemistry was going to be an issue. Now three or four months later. We’re Trophy champions.”

It was all the more remarkable after the Royals roster was weakened by the exit of Deyshonee Much and the absence of Wes Washpun due to a visa issue.

They managed only eleven points in the opening period but ignited their challenge with Orlan Jackman providing a vital cameo off the bench.

The Lions grabbed a 38-36 half-time cushion and looked poised for a second prize of the campaign when they raced 69-62 ahead with two minutes left.

But Hamilton, making up for lost time after missing the opening two months of the season with a wrist injury, keyed a 7-0 run before Lions captain Joe Ikhinmwin looked to have won it for his team with a three-pointer 24 seconds left in regulation.

Yet Lucas, under pressure, converted from deep with six seconds left, and Bryan-Amaning trapped Brandon Peel to avert any fatal blow. in one more priceless contribution.

The Royals hit the first eight points of overtime, with Elvisi Dusha a potent force in crunch time, before Ikhinmwin provided Lions with a glimmer of hope with another three.

But with Justin Robinson fouling out, the closest the Lions could get was three and Bryan-Amaning converted on a breakaway with two seconds remaining to put the icing on the cake.

“It was a battle,” admitted Hamilton, who lifted the trophy. “We played against a very difficult team. We were missing one of our key players, Wes Washpun but everyone put in top class performances.

“It means the world to me, the world to my coaches and the world to my team.

“I came in to help this team be successful and to win something in our first season, it’s a great achievement – I’m so proud.”

Robinson paced the Lions – who were forced to play without starting centre Kervin Bristol due to an irregular heartbeat – with 20 points.

“We’re all obviously disappointed,” Vince Macaulay, the London Lions head coach, admitted.

“We thought we had the game up until the Ed three. It was a physical game and a great show for the fans.  All credit to the Royals for playing a great game. This will only give us more motivation for the league and Play-Offs.”

Ladarius Tabb and Peel added 17 points each.

Game Stats


Photos: Mansoor Ahmed

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