With revenge on the mind of the London Lions, Team JBA USA came ready to go, but the injury bug got in the way.
Luckily, LaMelo Ball and Jordan Ray stepped up and kept Team JBA USA on top in their 151-137 victory over London at the Copper Box Arena in London, England on Saturday evening.
The victory extends JBA USA (10-2) winning streak to nine games, but it almost didn’t happen.
In the second quarter, LiAngelo Ball went down with an ankle injury. Bad news would follow soon after with a lower back injury from Je’rell Springer later in the quarter.
Gelo would return and ended the night with 25 points, but his brother LaMelo Ball stepped up in his place.
Melo ended the evening with a triple double with a game highs of 42 points, 17 assists and 13 rebounds.
“I think when Gelo came out, we needed points, especially when Je’rell got hurt,” Melo said. “We lost two big scorers. I had to step up my game and Jordan Ray came in big. He had 25 points and they were all easy shots. He came in and gave us a big jump. I know the winning streak continues. People are going to try and break it, so this is fun. It’s cool to return here in London. London has a cool vibe.”
Springer would not return to the game, but Ray stepped in his place and scored 25 points off the bench for JBA USA.
“I just came in and do what my team needed me to do,” Ray said. “They needed a little energy today, so I stepped in and gave it to them. I shot the ball when it was open and my shots were falling today. We definitely had to step it up. We have been traveling a lot, so our bodies are wearing down, but we are ballplayers, so we had to turn it up a notch. We just have to come out and play.”
Curtis Hollis finished with 37 points, 10 rebounds, eight assist and five steals.
Hollis 40 point streak ends at three games as he was just three points shy.
Rebounding was once again an issue as London outrebounded JBA USA 63 rebounds to 45, but JBA USA made it was with 15 steals and only seven turnovers to London’s three steals and 26 turnovers.
Jonathan James led London with 17 points while Ladarius Tabb and Brandon Peel each had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Lions.
Jordan Spencer scored 14 points with 10 rebounds for London, Kervin Bristol scored 14 points with nine rebounds and Paul Guede had 12 points as well as Justin Robinson, who also dished out eight assists for the Lions.
Justin Black and Jerelle Okoro each had 11 points for London, which returns to BBL League play as they’re in first place.
Melvin Davis scored eight points with eight rebounds, Deon Lyle scored six points and Calvin Brown added five points for JBA USA, which will head up to Leicester, England on Thursday November 8.