Lions thrilled by friendly turnout

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MK LIONS tipped-off their preparations for an assault on the British Basketball League with a home friendly against US side Stony Brook University last night (Thursday).

Two new signings were announced prior to the match as Lions welcomed the New York outfit for their first pre-season game, with the ‘Seawolves’ currently on a tour of Europe.

Fitter and well organised, Stony Brook beat a young Lions side featuring their two new recruits 84-60 in front of more than 700 fans at the Lions Arena.

Stefan Gill was the most recognised senior player in black and gold in action while new additions Carl Josey and Nathan Schall got game time – as did coach Mike New and his 15-year-old son Micheal junior.

Lions chief executive Vince Macaulay said he was delighted with the performance of the club’s youngsters and pleased to see so many fans turn out for a friendly game.

“It was very, very encouraging,” he said. “It’s left us all feeling really good and really confident about what we’re trying to do here and now we can’t wait to get some of our new guys over and do it again.

“The new guys both played and did well – Carl picked up 12 points and 12 rebounds and Nathan Schall got 11 points too. Mike only played in short intervals though!”

Next up for Lions is another home friendly against American opposition when the St Joseph’s College side visit next Saturday. And Lions are hoping to take part in a prestigious friendly tournament in Portugal next month if Macaulay can arrange sponsorship to help pay for flights out there.

“We’ve been invited by the Portuguese national team and we’d play four games out there – including against Spartak Moscow,” he said.