BASKETBALL: King’s Lynn Fury face a trip to London tomorrow to take on Southwark Pride in the first round of the National League Development play-offs.
Fury finished the regular season third in the South East Division with a 13-3 record after beating Essex Blades 95-77 on Saturday and being handed a second walkover of the season over Dagenham Dragons.
Pride were in second place on the same points as Fury. They beat the West Norfolk side 97-81 at home on the opening day and 75-69 at Lynn in December.
However, since that match, Lynn have chalked up 11 straight wins and will travel confident of repeating last year’s remarkable journey to the national final.
On Saturday, Fury had to work hard to complete a double over the Blades, after a 76-55 road victory in Essex last month.
The visitors pulled 17-12 clear as Fury failed to find top gear before back-to-back triples from Eivydas Aleska. Even so, it was the Blades who held a 26-22 advantage at the end of the first period.
That had increased to 41-31 when Aleska proved the catalyst for a momentum shift. He sliced through the Blades defence for two then added a further triple. Arnas Maziliauskas got in on the act adding six points as Fury hit a 15-0 run to lead 46-41 at the interval.
Donatas Zakanas took advantage of space near the corner to land two threes, supplemented by a third from Maziliauskas as Fury took a 68-52 advantage into the final quarter.
Blades used possession from turn-overs and missed shots to cut the deficit to 84-70 before Fury closed out the game with Deividas Butkevicius landing a three from the top of the key.
The final two minutes were contested by the younger Fury players with 19 year old Luke Huggins joined by KES pupils Donatas Zakanas and Mantas Zabilunas, both only 15.
Aleska paced the Fury with a mature performance, which saw him garner 32 points, Butkevicius and Giedrius Pakalniskis each notched 15 with Maziliauskas adding 14.