The London team, which was founded in 2010 and is made up entirely of Lithuanians, started life in the British Lithuanian Basketball league, before joining the English Basketball League (Division 3) in 2012. Consecutive promotions in 2014 and 2015 have seen the club rise to the ranks of the National Basketball League Division 1 and they look set to become a major force in British Basketball.
Bradford kept them close in the first quarter, entering the first schedule break behind by a single point (21-20). Although the Lithuanians stretched the lead in the second quarter, the Dragons were still very much within striking distance as the teams went back to the locker rooms at half time only three points apart, with the score board displaying 39-36.
However, as has so often been the case for Chris Mellor’s team this season, the Dragons failed to make an impact in the third quarter and allowed their hosts to stretch their lead to thirteen points, going in to the final period.
The Dragons made a late challenge, pulling the game back to within five points. However, it was too little too late and handling errors in the dying minutes led to the London side taking a ten-point victory, 75-65.
Adria Rodriguez Vinas headed Bradford’s scorers for the second weekend in succession, with an impressive 23 points. Jason Swaine contributed 14 points to the Dragons total, whilst Nicholas Moore added a further 13 points.
Coach Mellor commented, “We were in the game at half time, down three, but we played a really bad third period and left ourselves with a mountain to climb. We cut it to five late on, but late turnovers cost us a chance of getting it close.”
The defeat leaves Bradford eleventh in the league table, four points above the relegation spots. Mellor, and his team will be keen to put more distance between themselves and the bottom clubs when Derby Trailblazers visit the Dragons Den next Saturday, 30th January (Tip off 6:15pm).
Elsewhere for the Dragons, both the under 16’s and the under 14’s recorded victories on Saturday. The under 16’s travelled to Leicester Warriors, coming away with a 101-82 victory. Meanwhile, the under 14’s were also away, at Durham Wildcats, where they were on the right side of a tight 64-63 score-line.