The 2017-2018 National Basketball League of Canada season saw the London Lightning defend their throne as they became back-to-back champions for the second time in franchise history. It brought the grand total of championships to four, marking the most in NBL Canada history.
Keeping a large chunk of their core roster from the previous season, the Lightning had a rockier start than most predicted. Coming away with only two wins in their first seven games was not the ideal start for the reigning champions. But the Lightning soon became the hottest team in the league, and it took over a full month for anyone to beat them. The team went on to win 12 games in a row, cementing themselves as a top team once again.
Another strong regular season led the Bolts to claim yet another Central Division title, securing home court advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs.
The Lightning’s playoff run started with a best-of-5 series against Niagara, and London bested the River Lions 3-1. In the second round, the Lightning battled the St. John’s Edge. Taking six games to close out the best-of-7 series, the Lightning earned a spot in the NBLC finals for the third straight season.
The final against the Halifax Hurricanes offered a back and forth series that went right down to the wire. In the end, the Bolts came out on top in Game 7, 109-101, to defeat the Hurricanes and claim the 2018 NBLC title. Canadian Garrett Williamson took home the league’s postseason MVP award.
For more information on the upcoming season, in which the Lightning will seek a three-peat, visit www.lightningbasketball.ca.
Story and photos submitted by the London Lightning