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Basketball: London Lions captain Joe Ikhinmwin confident ahead of BBL play-off final against Leicester Riders

PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 May 2018

Joe Ikhinmwin talks to his London Lions teammates (pic Graham Hodges)

Joe Ikhinmwin talks to his London Lions teammates (pic Graham Hodges)

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London Lions captain Joe Ikhinmwin feels like nobody can stop his side’s momentum ahead of the BBL play-off championship final this weekend, writes Jacob Ranson.

The Lions will face regular league champions Leicester Riders at the O2 Arena in London on Sunday (4pm) as they look to add some silverware to their trophy cabinet for the first time since 1999.

Ikhinmwin and his side progressed to the final after sealing a 91-77 away victory against Glasgow Rocks having drawn 78-78 at the Copper Box Arena in the first leg on Thursday evening.

“I feel like there is no stopping us right now,” said Ikhinmwin.

“This is a great opportunity for all of us for many different reasons, as some guys have never played in the play-offs. We’ve got three rookies who haven’t as well and we’ve got other guys who’ve never played in a final.

“We’ve got other guys who have final experience and just missed out.

“We’re all together and we want to make history as the last time London had any silverware was in 1999 and I feel like it is now the right time for us to win it.”

The Lions skipper revealed the atmosphere should play into their advantage as it’s in their home town of London and only a handful of miles from their regular base at the Copper Box.

“It’s a final, it’s at the O2 Arena, we’re at home by location, so it will be great,” he added.

“I’m really excited, everyone is excited and there is going to be a really good atmosphere for the final.”

The Great Britain international, who recently went off to the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast to compete for England, is under no illusions of the challenge they face against Leicester in a battle to be crowned champions.

“Leicester are a really good side and we know they will throw everything at us from the off,” he added.

“They have been in Championship finals before and know exactly what it’s all about and they did win the league, so we can’t afford to take them lightly.

“But I do feel like everything that happened in the regular season doesn’t matter now and it’s all about the play-offs.”

Visit bbl.org.uk/londontickets/ to book tickets for London Lions’ play-off final against Leicester at the O2 Arena on Sunday.

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