Robles rescues Flyers weekend with a dramatic three-pointer
THE Bristol Academy Flyers, in one of their most challenging weekends of the season so far, had to put behind them their first league loss on Saturday, but bounced back the next day to progress to the National Cup semi-final for the fourth consecutive year.
The weekend did not start well for the Flyers, who suffered their first league loss at home at the hands of rivals Reading Rockets. The 81-74 result in favour of Reading stopped a four-game winning streak for Bristol and knocked the Flyers off the top of the Vcars.co.uk Division One table.
Bristol started the game well taking a narrow lead at the end of the first period, 24-23. The game, however, was decided in a nine-minute spell either side of half-time as Rockets poured in 22 points and held Bristol to five.
Reading's Luke Nelson scored 11 points in the run on his way to a game high 26 – making ten of 14 field goal attempts in the process.
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Flyers scored the first ten points of the final quarter to get within six points, but a 10-2 run by Rockets made the gap too wide for Flyers to overcome. Captain Greg Streete led the way for Flyers with 17 points and seven assists.
With the league loss only 15 hours behind, the Flyers bounced back in style and secured a place in the National Cup semi-final with a 71-68 away win at Hemel after a three-point shot with two seconds remaining by new signing Fran Robles.
The Bristol side obviously affected by the result of the previous night, started the game slow and trailed by five at halftime, 39-34. The second half saw a different Flyers and in the third period they had a three point lead. Flyers missed a number of opportunities to extend their lead allowing Hemel to come back in the game, taking a two-point lead with a minute left in the game.
That was shortlived, however, as Bristol tied the game with Tyrone Treasure making two crucial free throws and Robles hitting the game winning three. Enrique Garcia led the Flyers with 17 points.
Flyers coach Andreas Kapoulas said: "It is always very tough to play back to back games. Losing at home to Reading was definitely not the end of the road for us as the season is a marathon and we will have the opportunity to catch up with them in the league race. I think the primary concern after Saturday's result was to get our players to focus for the Sunday game and restore their confidence.
"We have some very experienced players and their quality was evident in the second half of the cup game. We were composed and able to secure a great result which also gives us a great boost of confidence. We also received news that Reading are the team drawn to play us in the semi-finals at the WISE campus in December so that's something to really look forward to."
Flyers turn their attention this week to the Vcars.co.uk Division One league and Westminster Warriors as the Bristol side is hosting the London based team this Saturday at the WISE campus (7pm).
The two teams met back in October with Westminster securing a six-point home victory. Flyers would like to return to winning ways in their league campaign.
Captain Greg Streete said: "We did not like losing our undefeated record last week and we are determined as a team to return to winning ways this Saturday.
"I think if anything, the loss has given with extra motivation to work harder in practises and step up our performances.
"Westminster are a physical and athletic outfit with skilful players. It's definitely not going to be easy however we play at home and we are ready to prove ourselves."
The Flyers game on Saturday will tip off at 7pm and further information can be found on www.bristolacademyflyers.co.uk.