Basketball

Seeking a return to glory

Playing together as a team and past playoff experience will be key to the Lightning regaining championship glory in 2016

The National Basketball League of Canada’s regular season has come and gone, later than usual, but with the same prize at the end of the tunnel: a league championship.

Much like every other team in the league, the London Lightning have their yearning eyes on that prize. However, London has one thing many other teams in the still young league do not: playoff experience. Of the

four championships that have been handed out to date, the Bolts have won two of them (back-to-back, no less, in the first two years of the league).

The last two years have seen disappointing ends, as arch rival Windsor Express has won the top prize. This year could mark the winner of a ‘best-of-five’ scenario between the two for who makes it out of the Central Division to the NBLC Finals.

Surely, the Lightning are just as hungry, if not hungrier, than the rest of the league to reclaim their status as the NBLC’s most successful team.

There is an air about playoff basketball that is unmatched by other sports. The emotion from both teams is palpable from the opening tip-off. A ferocious Stephen Maxwell slam dunk, a Warren Ward three-pointer to tie a game, or a big block from Marcus Capers to deny the opposing team a basket brings the crowd to their feet and the noise level to a deafening level. You can’t help but be swept up in the moment where the only two choices are going home or moving closer to the crown.

And when all is said and done, the Lightning plan on wearing that crown. Playoff tickets can be purchased at the Budweiser Gardens box office or online.

www.lightningbasketball.ca

Story submitted by the London Lightning, Photo by Stu Switzer