Five-star Bullets knock the spots off Leopards; BASKETBALL Peugeot Bullets Birmingham 77 Greater London Leopards 66.
Cut to the bare bones because of roster changes instigated by coach Mike Finger, it was a fair bet that reigning Budweiser League champions Greater London Leopards would see them off comfortably.
But the esprit de corps of the Bullets five - Nigel Lloyd, Reggie Kirk, Clive Allen, Fabulous Flournoy and Tony Simms - carried them to another remarkable success.
Simms, so often a bench-warmer this season, top scored with 26 points and took five defensive rebounds.
His tally came mainly from beyond the arc as he hit six-of-11 three-pointers to completely flummox the Leopards, who had a much stronger squad to choose from.
But if Billy Mims' team thought it was going to be easy, they should have known better after Bullets held a 21-20 first quarter lead.
Simms, playing at forward, scored eight of those points and then landed a huge shot from distance on the buzzer to send Bullets in 41-37 up at the break.
The third quarter proved decisive for Finger's team as a 15-0 run that closed the period left the visitors reeling.
Leopards dangerman Robert Youngblood sat it out on four fouls while Bullets seized the initiative.
Flournoy (17 rebounds) gobbled up most things under the boards while Lloyd (25 points) and Kirk (18pts) picked holes in the Leopards defence thanks to their individual skills.
Bullets were 61-49 up going into the final period and were quite content to slow their offence down, which frustrated Leopards.
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|Publication:||The Birmingham Post (England)|
|Date:||Jan 4, 1999|
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