The Scottish club had to kick their heels in frustration on opening weekend, but will finally get to hit the hardwood when they entertain Surrey United at the Emirates Arena on Sunday.

And, as far as debutante Patrick Manifold is concerned, Rocks have no intention of fluffing their lines.

“It was tough to see all the other teams in action last weekend” agreed the forward who is one of several new faces on board for 2013-14.

“We have all been here a month battling each other and getting better every day in practice, so we are all really excited to get the season started.

“Coach (Sterling) Davis has done a great job preparing us for this upcoming season and come Sunday, we will give everything we have to make sure that we start this season off on the right foot – by playing Rocks’ style basketball for the full forty minutes.

“I for one can’t wait!”

His sentiment was mirrored by Davis who is hoping added preparation time pays-off for his troops.

He explained, “It was not an ideal start to the season for us. To see everyone else out there playing, while we are left sitting and waiting was a little frustrating, but we have used it as an extra week of preparation.

“We were still watching what strengths our next opposition has to offer, so we don’t go into the game completely blind and especially with a brand new group.”

Even after just two weeks, it could be the Sharks in the box-seat in the early title race, since Atiba Lyons and his team have another two fixtures this weekend and the alluring prospect of racing into an early 4-0 record.

However, it will be tough since they host Plymouth University Raiders tonight who were stung by the Lions on their home floor in a losing debut for new head coach Jay Marriott.

A defeat in Yorkshire would increase the pressure heading into Sunday’s difficult encounter with Esh Group Eagles Newcastle, when the rookie play-caller could feasibly be staring down the barrel at a 0-3 start to the campaign – further underlining the importance of the clash in the Steel City this evening.

Sharks’ biggest test meanwhile could come tomorrow, when they have to go to John Sandford Sports Centre, where another packed crowd will make it intimidating for the visitors by attempting to roar the hometown Leicester Riders to a victory.

However, before Riders can even think about welcoming Sharks, they go to Worcester Arena tonight in what could arguably be the pick of the games this weekend.

Wolves exploded with a big win at Surrey and with ex-Riders’ guard Zaire Taylor promising a big contribution against his former team, you can expect fireworks!

London Lions could make it a hat-trick of wins to start the new season when they head up to the north-east on Saturday night to tussle with Durham Wildcats, who almost caused a huge stir with an eye-catching and encouraging performance last Friday against the Eagles at Sport Central – before just being edged out.

New head coach Lee Davie will have real confidence in his team, but will be wary of the danger posed by Lions’ veteran Rod Brown and also Joe Ikhimnwin who heads back to the region having previously played a little further up the A1 in Newcastle.

Finally, something has to give when Cheshire Phoenix clash with Manchester Giants at the Northgate Arena on Sunday night in the north-west derby, with both clubs having suffered a combined four losses so far.

Enjoy the games!

Story – BBL

Photo of Atiba Lyons and Sterling Davis – MPhotography

Photo of Vince – David HOWE

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