Defence of last year’s NBLC championship began on Sunday at Budweiser Gardens as the Lightning defeated the St. John’s Edge 107-103 in their season opener.
A.J. Gaines, who came to London from the Nevada Desert Dogs of the North American Premier Basketball League, led London with 30 points and 12 rebounds. Gaines is a player with a 40-inch vertical, and he made life tough on the Edge all afternoon.
Lightning head coach Keith Vassell was very positive about his team’s performance.
“Games like that really show who wants it,” said Vassell. Players were stepping up when they had to.”
Vassell also cautioned that London is only just starting.
“We just got to get better. It’s only the first game of the season; there are 39 more,” he added.
Xavier Moon and Marvell Waithe each had big debuts. Moon scored 17 points while Waithe had 16.
Marcus Capers had 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Lightning.
Diego Kapelan led St. John’s in scoring with 22 points.
The Lightning will play their first road game of the season on Thursday, Nov. 22 when they travel to Sudbury to play the Sudbury Five. London is off to a 2-0 start after wins over Windsor and Kitchener to begin the year.
London’s next home game is Thursday, Dec. 6 when they host the Windsor Express at Budweiser Gardens.