The New York Lightning played their second game of their preliminary season in the ABA against crosstown rival the Bronx Holy Flames. Both teams played a hard-fought game, but in the end, the Bronx Holy Flames would come out on top with a 129-118 victory.
“We had high turnover on the roster this week with a lot of returning players like Rich Ross and Romeo Bartley,” said Bronx Holy Flames owner Giovanni Concepcion. “I was really excited because the guys did not get a chance to practice and mesh, but I’m glad that they made it work,” he added.
Both returning players Bartley (22 points) and Ross (19 points) were key factors in the win yesterday as they combined for 41 points in the victory. While Kevin Pegram also had a big game for the Holy Flame finishing with a team-high 28 points.
The Lightning also had a few new players added to the roster making their debut in the ABA. Point guard Corey Jackson (15 points), forward Bernard Cherry (8 points) and center Charles Jones (12 points) all have a good history with owner/coach Willie Negron and were enthusiastic about the opportunity to play for him in the ABA.
“I’m comfortable with coach Willie, he knows my game, and he knows the game of basketball he wouldn’t have added me to the team if he did not think I could fit in, so I’m ready to roll,” said Jackson. “I’ve known Willie for quite some time since my early college years, he always looked out for me, so it feels good to be playing for him, and he knows what he’s doing so I trust him,” said Cherry.
It was a close game heading into the second quarter as the Holy Flame was up 38-32, but they would live up to their name in the second quarter catching fire from beyond the arc. Bartley and Rowe Ahgo were hot from downtown combining for 10 of the Holy Flames 18 three-pointers.
Turnovers were another big issue for the Lightning, as they would lead to some easy baskets for the Bronx Holy Flames. With ABA’s unique 3D-rule each turnover in the backcourt became extra points, which really hurt the Lightning in the long run.
Although the Holy Flames came out with the win it was not easy, the Lightning did a great job on defense in the second half. Chris St. Rose (30 points) and Andre Martin (25 points) lead the charge scoring the ball for the Lightning and trying to keep them in the game.
“Yes they made a come back in the end, and it is good to come back in the, but I need them to come back four quarters, not one quarter,” said coach Negron. “I had three crucial turnovers, and that is something we have to work on, I feel like we played a good game offensively, but defensively we have to get stops and not allow second-chance points,” said Martin.
The New York Lightning will have their home opener next week against the Bronx Holy Flames in a rematch of yesterday’s game. With some key players missing and not a full roster to work with coach Willie is still looking to add some players to help his team.
“Like I said in a previous interview it’s like going to the hardware store, and I haven’t gotten all the supplies yet, once I get all the supplies we will be ready for the home opener,” said coach Negron. “In our home opener we will have the kinks out and we just going to come back next week and work hard,” said Martin.
The NY Lightning’s next game will take place next Sunday, February 11th, 2018 at the Stuy Dome in Brooklyn New York at 3:00 p.m.
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