December 10 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Vince Macaulay is hoping to hand debuts to some, if not, all of his American imports as London Lions travel to Sheffield Sharks tomorrow night in the first round of the British Basketball League Cup.
The Copper Box outfit are on a high after back-to-back championship wins at the weekend over Plymouth Raiders and Glasgow Rocks, improving the record to 4-2, and have been boosted by the arrivals of Kramer Knutson, Ben Smith and Nick Freer whose work permits and visas were approved this week.
The Lions boss insists his new-look squad must now rise to new levels to slay the BBL Trophy champions Sharks and set up a quarter-final tie against Durham Wildcats - a side London have lost to but who Sheffield beat at the weekend to move to 5-1 for the campaign.
“I was very pleased with the focus we showed over the two games at the weekend,” Macalay said, adding: “They were both tough encounters in different ways but the guys were well prepared and did well.
“Sheffield is another proposition all together. We will need to step up even further especially depending on who we have suited up, it will be super to have our main team out there.”
Whatever Lions team takes the floor, their cup-winning coach will have them ready for the challenge.
Macaulay added: “Personally, the cup is important to me having won it, I would like us to progress to the next round.
“Sharks are a very intelligent team and in bringing back BJ Holmes they just got a whole lot better.
“Atiba [Lyons] knows exactly how he wants his team to play, very much Sharks ball, so I expect a real battle.”
Lions centre Adrien Sturt, who impressed with 20 points against Glasgow, said: “Having two tough, but good wins at the weekend gives us some momentum going into the cup game against Sheffield and we have confidence in each other and our playing ability as a team.
“We played Sheffield in the pre-season and a lot has changed since then but you can expect them to play hard and well together as they have had a core group of guys together for a few years now.”