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London Lightning win it all with decisive Game 5 victory

The London Lightning captured their second consecutive National Basketball League of Canada championship with a 126-88 victory on Friday night at Budweiser Gardens.

The Lightning made use of their entire roster and built an 11-point lead by halftime.

London came out of the locker room and took over complete control from there with a massive 49 points in the third quarter avenging a 110-102 Windsor victory one night earlier at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ont.

Lightning head coach Doug Plumb had a feeling he would see a different performance from the Lightning after that Game 4 loss that had seen the Express jump out to a 20-6 lead in the first quarter.

“If you had told me at the beginning of the season that we would have one game at home coming off of  a back-to-back where their best players played 48 minutes and we didn’t have to do the two-hour bus ride on the day of the game, I’m taking that ten times out of ten,” said Plumb.

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Jeremiah Mordi led the way offensively for London with a triple-double. Mordi had 37 points, 13 rebounds and ten assists.

Guard Mike Nuga added 23 points for the Lightning.

London shot 49.5 per cent from the field.

Plumb says there are certain player characteristics that he needs to see when building a team.

“The very first criteria is are they a winner,” admits Plumb. “And then are they emotionally resilient and are they tough. Those three things combined give you the heart of a champion… and all of our guys possess those things.”

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Windsor had been able to out-rebound the Lightning in the fourth game of the series but London owned the boards in Game 5 by a 58-42 margin.

It was the third championship for the Lightning in the past four completed seasons and London’s sixth in franchise history dating back to 2012 when the team was formed.

The Express are next on that list with two.

The Halifax Rainmen and the Moncton Magic are the only other teams in National Basketball League of Canada history to win it all. Neither one of those clubs is currently operating.

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