‘Fun’s over. Time for work’: Manchester Giants’ Babalola sets sights on BBL glory

Manchester Giant’s British Basketball League season finally gets under way this Sunday with a tricky away game against North-West rivals Cheshire Phoenix.

The game, the first at Cheshire Phoenix’s 1,400 seater Cheshire Oaks Arena, is the Phoenix’s second of the season after they started with a 63-60 win over Leeds Force on Friday night.

After finishing their pre-season campaign with a 76-59 victory of their own over Templeogue, Olu Babalola has his sights firmly on the BBL Championship with the Giants.

“These games were fun, but now the fun’s over. It’s time to go to work.

“I’ve come to Manchester to win championships. That’s my goal.”

The 34-year-old experienced star has won BBL championship, Cup and Trophy medals with Sheffield Sharks, Mersey Tigers and Newcastle Eagles in the past.

However the player has his sights set on toughening up the Manchester defence to lead them to challenge for glory.

“You can ask anyone that knows me in this league, defence is my thing.

“Defence is nothing but fright and heart. I’m a proud guy and I pride myself in being the best defender in any team I play in.

“You can rest assured I’m going to play tough in defence. I always want to go after the best player on the opposing team.

“I get enjoyment out of shutting them down and I’m just going to try and bring that energy to the rest of the guys so we can win some games. “

Pre-season has also showcased some impressive three-point shooting from Babalola, which no coincidence given his summer training.

“I just turned 34 the other day I haven’t got too many years left, I’m glad it’s getting better [my three point shooting] I’ve been working on it all summer.

“But my main focus is defence.”

The Giants had mixed fortunes against Cheshire Phoenix last season, losing two out of three games against the side.

They did however win the last meeting between the pair, 93-85 at the Lucozade Powerleague Trafford Sportsdome in March.

A trip to Cheshire, who finished fourth last year before losing in the semi finals, will certainly provide a tough early test for Yorick Williams’ side however.

Manchester Giants will be hoping to improve on their ninth place finish last season, which saw them miss out on the play-offs by one position.

Image courtesy of Manchester Giants via YouTube, with thanks.

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