BBL round-up: Cup holders London Lions lose opener

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Gentrey Thomas played for Moncton in the Canadian League last season

Cup holders London Lions lost their opening game in the group stages with defeat at Worcester Wolves on the opening day of the BBL season.

Lions lost the second half 45-25 as Wolves’ England international Kofi Josephs hit 20 points in a 92-67 win.

Bristol’s Gentrey Thomas was the weekend’s top scorer with 35 points as the Flyers came back from 17 points down to beat Surrey 107-99 in overtime.

Newcastle and Leicester won both their opening games under the new cup format.

For Newcastle, it was the start of a new era after 17 years under former player-coach Fab Flournoy, newly installed as an assistant at the NBA’s Toronto Raptors.

The Eagles easily beat Cheshire 97-68 behind 30 points from Rahmon Fletcher on Friday and won again 90-86 on Sunday in Glasgow, despite fielding only eight players in both games.

Leicester, who won the Play-offs title in May, coasted to a 75-63 win at Cheshire on Sunday after beating Sheffield 75-54 on Friday.

The return of Great Britain Olympian Andrew Lawrence proved worthwhile for London Royals, who opened their season with an 89-87 win at Plymouth on Sunday. Lawrence hit 27 points and had nine assists.