Royals release video charting start of new season
PUBLISHED: 15:15 10 October 2018
London City Royals have produced a ‘fly on the wall’ video covering the club’s promising start to the new British Basketball League (BBL) season.
‘A Force for Change’ takes you inside the ‘carriage’ with the Royals as they hit the crest of a wave with opening victories over Bristol Flyers, Surrey Scorchers and Manchester Giants.
The newly-formed team then suffered a disappointing defeat at Newcastle Eagles, but Jay Williams’ men are still joint-top of the BBL on six points along with Newcastle, Bristol, London Lions and Cheshire Phoenix.
The Royals were quick to acknowledge “some great lessons learnt” from their trip to Tyneside that ended in a 110-60 defeat.
But no one can deny the impact of star forward Matt Bryan-Amaning and the lads as they took the division by storm in their opening three games.
‘A Force for Change,’ available on the club’s website, gives a telling insight into the Royals’ first home game at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre with terrific behind-the-scenes access.
The flim then moves on 24 hours to the Royals’ back-to-back trip to Manchester.
A gripping locker room scene previews the 91-85 victory over the Scorchers that followed an initial 78-73 triumph at Bristol.
Williams is seen urging the troops: “Success doesn’t come to you - you have to go and get it. In a team that wins the championship their home record is absolutely fantastic. This is the first start, this is the first level...”
Just as it was at Bristol, the Royals found themselves chasing the result and relying on a top-notch fourth quarter to seal the deal.
Williams warns them during the interval: “I’m going to start swearing, cursing and yelling because we’re not playing hard enough. They’re taking it to us and we’re not taking it to them. We’re just sitting out on the three-point line and taking shots. Get to the basket. Let’s get back to playing good basketball.”
Happily, the Royals carried out his orders and clinched the win, but Williams tells them: “We’re two and nought, but we’ve got to focus on tomorrow. It doesn’t mean anything if we go and lose that game tomorrow. This team (Manchester) are much better.”
Crowd favourite Ed Lucas, an Angolan international point guard, revelled in the success at the Palace.
He says: “It was a tough game, we made it tough for ourselves but everyone in the team valued the fans here and they gave us good energy to finish up strong.
“The two Americans (Dayshonee Much and Lamar Wofford-Humphrey) are rookies, but they didn’t play like rookies today.”
The camera follows the team up the motorway to Manchester, where Williams tells his unbeaten troops: “We’ve been strong. Be strong - we’ve travelled this far; show that we can play back-to-backs.”
The Royals ran out 92-96 winners. Bryan-Amaning had top scored with 20 points against the Scorchers and led the way with 29 points to rock the Giants.
No-nonsense centre Will Neighbour weighed in with 31 points over the two games and Lucas 25.
Williams learnt a lot about the Royals, giving this locker room verdict: “Obviously an atrocious third quarter, but what we showed in the fourth quarter is that we’re able to come back, able to make big shots, make big defensive plays.”
Injured super signing Ashley Hamilton - the small forward who helped Manrese achieve promotion to the Spanish Liga ABC, viewed as the premier domestic league outside the UK - offers bags of encouragement from the sidelines.
He gives an update on the injured wrist that has prevented him from making his Royals debut.
“No date for me to come back, I guess the earliest date would be the middle of November. Just a case of being patient and working through the process,” said Hamilton.
The Royals’ website also gives a fair reflection on the upset at Newcastle, with the postscipt: “The Eagles have landed. Congratulations to the Newcastle Eagles. Our official ‘welcome’ to the league! Nothing but respect for the Eagles. They came to play and truly showed their pedigree tonight.
“Well deserved victory and some great lessons learnt. Back to the lab for the Royals. A lot to work on for the next game... Still early in the process... Best is yet to come...”
The Royals are next in action at Leicester Raiders on October 20 at 7.30pm.