By Jamie Thomas
One of the BBL’s most electrifying shooters this season, London Lions’ Lorenzo Cugini is confident he and his team-mates will do their best as the Play-offs begin this week, with London facing their final winners of the BBL trophy, Cheshire Phoenix, in the quarter-finals.
The last chance for the team to win a title this year, after failing throughout the season in other competitions, Cugini believes his team is in good shape for the playoffs and is confident in the group’s ability to go to the 02 Arena on May 15and.
“Everything that has happened has happened, we have done our best with what we can control individually. These last three games have been positive for us, so it’s good momentum and it has given us a better view of our identity as a team, so we’re going to play our best basketball.
“We can’t wait to play Cheshire. The Trophy final was what it was. We had a few injuries, but enough quality and talent to win the game and it just didn’t work our way. We have a chance to fix this and will take care of business if we do our due diligence properly over the next few days.
“Everyone has their own definition of success, but we want to win this contest regardless of what everyone else has to say. We’re just going to focus on ourselves, do our best and see what’s in front of us instead of what’s is behind us, hoping to win until the end of the season and have success in the Playoffs final.
“These experiences can only help us to be ready for the Playoffs.”
The Lions have tested themselves on huge stages this year, not only in their domestic exploits by reaching major finals and semi-finals, but also on the continent in the FIBA Europe Cup where the capital has achieved outstanding results, representing the BBL with distinction.
Cugini explained how these experiences will help the team find their best performances in the Play-offs and what lessons they can learn from the ups and downs of a storied campaign.
“We’ve played so many great games this year whether it’s in this country reaching the finals and semi-finals or playing in Europe and I think those experiences can only help us to be ready to play in the playoffs. playoffs, because we’ve been in those high-pressure situations before.
“I just treat it like any other game to be honest with you, doing my best to master scouting and understanding what’s expected of me in any given game so I can come into the game as confident as I can. possible that I am ready.
“The biggest lesson I think we have to take from this year so far is to never go too high and never go too low, and enjoy the moment. There will always be adversity and challenges. difficult times, so you have to enjoy the moment and have fun because you are lucky to be able to play at this level.
“I’m proud of my shooting ability.”
Even though the Lions have electrified fans across the league this season with some of their plays at times, Cugini himself has had plenty of fans at the Copperbox on the edges of their seats every time he catches the ball at- beyond the three-point line, regularly nailing shots with a high degree of difficulty.
One of the league’s leaders in three-point percentage and an effective scorer across the board, the 28-year-old received significant plaudits for his ability to score on the board in a variety of ways, and he discussed the development of his goalscoring prowess and a love of his craft.
“I hear [the plaudits] but I take it a bit at face value, really, because I’d rather the team be successful than nice things than be said about me, to be honest. Ultimately, winning things as a team means more to me, but it’s still cool to hear those things being said about my game.
“I’m proud of my shooting ability and I’ve put in a lot of work off the pitch in training and so on and over the summer to improve all the time so it’s cool that I have been able to come in and maybe turn heads sometimes. Shooting has a different status in the game these days and it’s cool to be seen as one of the guys who can do it at a good level.
“My love and skill for shooting is something that has been with me for a long time, to be honest. My dad and I used to work on it all the time when I was very young and I developed it more uniquely over years old able to do a lot of different things in a lot of scenarios now I love being good at it but more so I love finding new ways to get even better and express myself that way.
Get your BBL Qualifiers Final tickets and join us for the showpiece finale of an epic season at London’s 02 Arena on May 15 here!