The London Lions enter their biggest match in Club history as they try to qualify for the Basketball Champions League on Tuesday. They must win a qualifying semi-final and then a Final to make the Group Stages.
Neptunas Klaipeda will be their first opponents and then they will face the winners of Balkan, the hosts and Tsmoki Minsk should they get by the Lithuanians
The Lithuanians are much changed from last season, as are the Lions. They will be very dangerous, with a squad of all Lithuanians there will be a National Team feel to the clash.
Ball movement, screens and fundamental play are all staples of the Lithuanian game. The Lions will try to destabilise that with their length, speed and athleticism. With DeAndre Liggins and Kevin Ware likely to start alongside Justin Robinson, it is likely Coach Vince Macaulay will call upon NBA veteran, Byron Mullens and defender Kervin Bristol to complete the line up.
Lithuanian Key player:
“Žygimantas Janavičius will run the game from the PG spot. At 6’4” he represents a size mismatch for the Lions and they aren’t averse to posting him up, so you may see Liggins spending some time guarding him.
“After averaging 6.4 assists in the BCL, you already know this is the computer that runs the calculations for Neptunas and once he turns the corner to his left hand it’s a bucket or a dime every time.”
Coach Macaulay was buoyant ahead of the match up. “ We know it will be tough, but then it should be at this level, as long as we play with discipline and poise we will do well.”
The game will be shown on the BBC Red Button and website from 2;20pm tomorrow.