BBL Cup: Bristol Flyers beat Royals to reach first final

Gentry Thomas (Bristol Flyers)
Gentry Thomas was born in Canada and has a cousin, Dillon Brooks, who plays in the NBA

Bristol Flyers reached their first BBL Cup final when they completed a two-leg semi-final win over London Royals.

Bristol won 91-77 for 175-159 aggregate win with Gentry Thomas leading the Flyers' scoring with 21 points.

In the BBL Championship, defending champions London Lions won twice to stretch their lead at the top and Newcastle Eagles moved into second.

In the WBBL, Manchester Mystics and Leicester Riders both won to go top of the table at Christmas.

London Royals have lost only four times in 14 starts this season but three of those have come to the Flyers - all of them in the Cup.

Trailing by 14 points at half-time, the Royals reduced the arrears to 70-66 with six minutes of the game remaining.

"They made a run but then we had a huddle and said we had to stick together," said Flyers captain Daniel Edozie.

"Now we're in a final but it's too early to celebrate - the story hasn't been fully written. There's another chapter still to come."

The next 10 points decided the game, Bristol scoring all of them to set up a final in January against either Leicester or Worcester. It will be the Flyers' first final since they entered the BBL in 2014.

In the league, London Lions continued their strong start to the defence of their title by following up their midweek win against Bristol (99-88) with an 88-79 success against Sheffield.

Level at the interval, Lions had Brandon Peel and Jules Dang Akodo combine for 16 points as they established a double-digit lead on their way to their fourth league win.

Newcastle moved into second place after registering one of the biggest winning margins in BBL history with their 131-63 slaughter of Manchester, Seven players scored in double figures for the Eagles, while the Giants were missing four players with injury and could only field a six-man team.

In the WBBL Championship, Manchester Mystics had 26 points from Sara Djassi as they cruised past Essex Rebels 81-59 on the road and went top of the WBBL Championship.

They were joined by the Leicester Riders, who won 83-54 away at BA London with Kate Oliver scoring 22 points.

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