Orlan Jackman believes the Newcastle Eagles “gave away” the game as they lost their first match of the season.
Joe Hart finished with 18-points, but 25-points from Kai Williams eased the London Lions to a 88-78 win at Sports Central.
Jackman was left disappointed with the result, and stated the side made too many little mistakes, which ended up being costly.
“Overall, we did a lot of little things wrong, he said after the game. “There was nothing major, but we did a lot of little things wrong, which gave them an opportunity.
“I still believe that they didn’t win the game. We gave it to them.
“They (London) beat us, so of course they’ve been the toughest opponents. But we will see them two more times, minimum, and we have got something for them.”
Eagles start game strongly
Both the Eagles and the Lions came into the game unbeaten and one of those records had to give, and it was the home side that rushed into an early lead.
Rahmon Fletcher found room a treble as the Tynesiders took control in the early stages of the game.
Scott Martin and Jackman added to the hosts’ tally, and the Eagles were making the most of the vibrant Sports Central atmosphere.
Jackman and Fletcher capitalized on errors from the visitors as the lead went to seven-points and the Lions immediately called for a timeout.
Jamal Williams and Rashad Hassan reduced the arrears, but the Eagles led by five at the end of the first quarter.
Lions bounce back in second quarter
The Lions remained within touching distance after J.Williams responded after Hart hit his first treble of the evening.
Joseph Ikhinmwin scored two from the line soon after Williams tied the game at 28-28 and the visitors had their first lead of the night.
Jackman regained the Eagles’ lead with a treble, but it was short-lived as the Eagles were down by six-points at half-time.
The forward added: “A loss is always disappointing,” he said after the game. “We should have won, that’s what I say about every game.
“I really couldn’t care less who we lost against, I just hate to lose.
“If it was the USA national team, if we went there and we lost I would be mad as hell, the same way I am right now.”
Late resurgance in vein from hosts
Quick points after the break from Defoe and Fletcher reduced the gap, but the Lions fought off the Eagles each time they came back into the game.
Despite the best efforts of Martin and Lasker, the Lions went into the final quarter with a lead of six.
However, the hosts stormed out the blocks and fought right back into the game when Hart hit two trebles’ in quick succession.
He followed up with one from the line after being fouled, and then Martin added three to put the hosts ahead for the first time since the second quarter.
London were on the back foot, Martin and Hart added a further four points between them to extend the lead.
Hassan and Andre Lockhart responded, and then the latter’s lay-up put the Lions back ahead though and they never looked back from then on in.
Late fouls gave the Lions the chance to close the game out, and they did just that as they inflicted the first defeat of the season on the Eagles.