Top of the table and a BBL Cup final place secured, is this the year when London Lions end a long wait for a major British basketball prize?

Justin Robinson certainly hopes so.

“The main thing is just to win and get some silverware this year,” he told MVP. “I want to win and put my name in the history books.

“I want to be part of that BBL legacy.”

After a professional career which has taken him all over Europe, the Great Britain guard returned home to London in 2017, signing for the Lions.

Robinson enjoyed immediate success at the club, helping them to their highest-ever league position of second, with London also going on to reach the BBL Play-Off final.

But while he couldn’t help the team collect a trophy in his debut season, his performances throughout the campaign did see the 31-year-old win the Most Valuable Player award.

Over the summer the Lions tweaked the roster and now find themselves top of the table after a great start to the season.

“We kept our core players in place and brought in some fresh faces like Kevin Bristol and defensively he’s been exceptional,” said Robinson.

“Ladarius Tabb has come in and given us scoring, offensive rebounding, energy.

“Also, Jordan Spencer, who has come in and helped me a lot, sharing the ball handling with me.”

Six points clear of the chasing pack after Friday’s win over Bristol Flyers, Lions also have a BBL Cup Final to look forward to on the 27that Arena Birmingham.

But with Championship business to take care of before then, Robinson is putting the final to the back of his mind for now.

“We’ve got to take it game by game,” he insisted.

“It’s still early and the season doesn’t end until May, but we’ve just got to focus, we know what we’re trying to achieve this year.

“For us, every game is a Championship game. Every game is important.”

Something new for the Lions this season is that there’s another new team – London City Royals – in the capital.

“I think it’s healthy for the league,” insisted Robinson.

“I know that when I was growing up, we had the Towers and Leopards rivalry.

“It builds up some excitement and the people on social media can talk it up, but at the end of the day it’s all fun and games, nothing personal and both sides want to win.”

But perhaps what pleases Robinson most right now is the quality of British players who have plied their trade domestically this season.

“It’s amazing to see,” he said.

“The brain drain that happened a long time ago with players going to the States and Europe is slowly but surely starting to come back.

“A lot of guys are realising the BBL is up to scratch and they are realising they can make a living and play at a high level and enjoy themselves at the same time.”

He added, “It’s the only way the league will get better is that if the domestic players come back and we help build the league.

“It needs to be organic and I think the guys coming back arehelping to improve the league.”


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