Birmingham came into their fifth game of the season looking for their first win against a strong Coventry side, they would fall to a 58-54 defeat however can take heart from what was an impressive performance.
The game began at the UOB Sports Centre and it was a scrappy start with some missed shots, but it seemed the teams were just finding their range. For the first couple minutes of the match it was a low scoring affair and it would be Coventry that settled quicker as they found their range and scored a nice three pointer.
The Lions themselves began to grow into the game but Coventry who themselves were playing well, scored on a quick breakaway mid-way through the first quarter making it 15-6. A timeout was called by the Lions as they looked for a route back into the game. After the timeout there was an immediate response with Stefan Stojsavljevic sinking his own 3 pointer.
The end of the first quarter saw Coventry take a 19-11 lead, but the visitors had not been dominant by any stretch and Birmingham knew there was still a good chance for them in this game. They came out in the second quarter and scored 6 quick points bringing them right back into it and reapplying the pressure to Coventry.
The Lions despite some wonderful build up play, could not quite convert enough of their chances, whilst they would improve later on, a few free throws did narrowly miss the target. The game then flipped back and forth as Coventry would put up multiple scores in a row, only to have Birmingham answer with their own multiple scores.
Near the end of the first half it was Coventry who couldn’t take their chances which allowed Birmingham to reduce the gap to just one point with the score standing at 30-29 but just before the half Coventry sunk a three pointer which extended their lead to four.
Once more after the half the game ebbed and flowed favouring one team and then the next but there was a real sense of Birmingham being able to pull this off, they dominated large parts of the third quarter, with some very impressive play by number 15, Modesto Vasquez, who continued driving towards the paint and converting or drawing fouls.
Birmingham were very good during the third quarter and tied the score and took the lead for a short while but once more Coventry ended the quarter well and would be ever so slightly ahead with the score being 46-48.
The fourth quarter started frantically, the game being played at a breakneck speed with both sides trying their best to gain an advantage in the game. Birmingham were very much in the game but Coventry scored on a breakaway with little time remaining giving them a six point lead.
However a beautiful three pointer from Corey Takacs got the crowd going and the Lions right back in it, they then reduced the gap to two and had a chance to tie with about 30 seconds remaining with two free throw shots but they both narrowly and agonisingly missed. From there Coventry scored the final points and made it the final score of 58-54.
Overall it was a very gutsy spirited performance by the Lions against a good opponent in Coventry, it’s certainly a performance to build upon as they dominated for large parts but they’ll rue a couple of missed chances particularly in the 1st half, however if they play like that every week it’s only a matter of time before they get that first win in the 2017/18 season.