Poor start proves costly as Flyers suffer shock defeat to Worthing
BRISTOL Academy Flyers started the year with a 90-74 home defeat to Worthing Thunder and are now third in the Vcars.co.uk Division One with a record of seven wins and four losses.
Flyers' American import Doug McLaughlin-Williams had a 17 points and 11 rebounds double double, but the Flyers still suffered a surprise defeat to the division's bottom side.
The Flyers trailed 30-18 at the end of the first period and, despite an improved performance in the second quarter, the visitors led 51-39 at half-time.
Bristol found themselves trailing by 16 points at the end of the third period, but a strong three-minute spell at the start of the fourth, led by Mostapha Alfaki, saw Bristol cut the deficit to six.
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However, that was as close as the Flyers got, as Worthing provided a big upset in the top tier with their first win of the season.
Flyers head coach Andreas Kapoulas said: "Worthing did very well and credit has to go to them. They shot the ball well and they did well to withstand our comeback.
"Enrique Garcia's mouth injury at the start of the game played a critical role in our performance. His absence was really felt.
"It also didn't help that our captain, Greg Streete, was not able to play due to a thigh injury. However, having said that, we are not looking for excuses. We had a chance to come back and get the win, but made poor decisions at critical times of the game."
The Flyers hope to put the disappointment swiftly behind them, as they head into a double-header weekend.
On Saturday, the Flyers travel to Bradford Dragons, who are fifth in the table.
Kapoulas said: "Both teams come to the game with a loss and, given how the league table is shaping up, a win is a must for both teams.
"Bradford are well organised and have a great coach. It's not going to be an easy task for us and we will need to produce a very good performance for us to get a positive outcome."
The next day, the Flyers return to home action when they host Medway Park Crusaders at the SGS WISE Campus in the National Trophy quarter-finals. The two sides met in early November, when the Flyers secured a six-point victory.
Kapoulas said: "Medway are having a good season and will be coming to our place ready to battle for a semi-final spot.
"We are the only team in all three competitions and we would like to keep it that way.
"Last season, we were able to get to the Trophy final, but came up short on the day, so we would like to see if we can progress to another final in 2013."
The Flyers' game on Sunday will tip -off at 7pm. For ticket information and latest news, visit www.bristolacademyflyers.co.uk.