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Adekoya intent on attacking the day as Lions showdown looms


He’s got a tonne of family who are London-native but is a firm fan favourite for the Leicester Riders, which makes Sunday’s final even more interesting for British big man Jubril Adekoya. 

Playing in – and winning – his first BBL Cup Final last year, the 28-year-old has fond memories from Birmingham’s Utilita Arena and is eager to make some more this weekend as the Riders get set to tackle the London Lions. 

“Last year’s Cup Final was a huge deal for the club, of course, but also for me.” Adekoya said. ”I was new to the BBL and probably didn’t fully understand just how big a deal it was to reach that game, but when you get there on the day it hits you. 

“It’s such a special moment in our careers, playing in a completely different atmosphere for silverware in a neutral location with a lot on the line, and its just one game, where you win or you go home with nothing. To have the opportunity to play in one of these finals again is something I am not taking for granted.” 

The Lions have had the better of Leicester so far this season, but both encounters in the BBL Championship have been nail-biting affairs throughout as the Riders have threatened to topple the newest rivals to their dynasty on both occasions. 

A participant in both of those previous meetings, Adekoya discussed what his side have to do this weekend to get a dub that is well within their capabilities, and how much respect he has for the Lions. 

“You can’t take anything away from the fact that they’re a very, very good club and have put together a team that has gelled well together with a coach that knows how to put them in a position to have success. 

“Both times we played London we’ve had injuries or people missing for whatever reason, so we’ve got a lot more to show of ourselves and I think this final is going to be a really good game with ourselves ready to show a different side to ourselves to what London have already seen. 

“We’ve found our rhythm at points in both games against them already this year, but we know we’re going to have to perform for the full 40 minutes to be successful here.” 

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