Eurocup Women’s Final: London Lions Lose First Leg to Besiktas

London Lions, the Women’s British Basketball League team, suffered a 75-68 defeat against Besiktas in the first leg of the EuroCup Women’s final in Istanbul. Despite Holly Winterburn’s game-high 23 points, the visitors trailed throughout the contest. London Lions made history by becoming the first British basketball team to reach a European final when they defeated Umana Reyer Venice in March. The team will seek to overturn their seven-point deficit in the second leg at London’s Copper Box Arena on April 10.

Besiktas, the three-time Turkish league champions, were led by Dana Evans, who scored 20 points, and Jovana Nogic, who added 18 points for Aziz Akkaya’s hosts. Karlie Samuelson and Katsiaryna Snytsina also recorded double figures for the Lions, who found themselves 18 points behind in the third period before 12 unanswered points kept their title hopes alive.

Styliani Kaltsidou’s history-making team is also chasing a third straight domestic title in the Women’s British Basketball League. They must hope they can mount a comeback in front of a home crowd in Stratford next Wednesday (19:00 BST). The team with the higher aggregate score across the two legs will lift the trophy.

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