Lions add fuel to local rivalry with Leicester

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LIONS chief executive Vince Macaulay has declared that he wants his side to ‘thrash the Leicester Riders six times out of six’ this season.

Speaking just over a week before the British Basketball League season tips-off on October 1, Macaulay said he and coach Mike New have already told the club’s new recruits that their games against Leicester are ‘grudge’ matches and that he wants to beat them every time they meet this term.

Not only are Leicester the nearest team to Lions geographically, but the east Midlands has also become home to plenty of former Lions players over the past few seasons – most notably Robert Youngblood – sparking a hot rivalry between the clubs.

Lions visit Riders on the opening day of the new season next Saturday night before entertaining them back in Milton Keynes six days later in two BBL Trophy group stage ties.

If that wasn’t enough, the two sides have also been paired in the BBL Cup, with Lions drawn away. But Macaulay says his side should relish the task of going up against what he describes as their ‘B’ team.

“I call them our ‘B’ team because that’s what they are,” he said. “We will play them six times this season and I want to beat them every single time.

“We have a fantastic team this year and will be capable of doing that.”