Three quarter-final match-ups take centre stage and after signing former NBA man Julius Hodge who helped wrap up an excellent win at Glasgow Rocks last weekend, Cheshire Phoenix will be pumped at the prospect of now making the last four of the Cup.
Standing in their way are Sheffield Sharks who will welcome Phoenix head coach, JohnCoffino and his side. And, with BBL Championship games at home to Bristol Flyers on Sunday and then at London Lions on Tuesday night, it promises to be another whirlwind week for the Phoenix.
Not that Coach Coffino is intending to complain about a hectic schedule.
He insisted, “We will take one game at a time again, although have in our conscience that balance of keeping an eye on everyone’s minutes and still trying to get the win.
“Depth will be a factor, but as we saw at Glasgow, we played five guys 40 minutes each and were fortunate to come home successful.
“We will make no excuses and we have great respect for Sheffield and their history,” added the play-caller.
No Cup competition would be complete without something of a David versus Goliath clash and that comes in the form of Leeds Force, who shocked Manchester Giants in the First Round and they now travel to Sport Central for their quarter-final against silverware magnets, Esh Group Eagles Newcastle.
Force head coach Matt Newby knows it will be a tough test for his players and he is also determined that people recognise the competitiveness of his team – even if their solitary Cup success has been the only reward for their efforts so far.
He explained, “Newcastle boast a roster with a great deal of experience and a desire to maintain their mantle as the most storied franchise in BBL history.
“They have pedigree in all positions and present our biggest challenge of the season.
“In terms of the Plymouth game (last weekend), we were disappointed at the loss and put ourselves in a tough position in the first half when we accrued such a large deficit.
“We can gain heart from the second half rally, but the most important thing is to be real with the players and identify exactly what we are doing well and conversely, what mistakes we are making that have cost us wins.
“The reality is the league record does not reflect the closeness of some of our games, but we don’t get points for losses and we don’t establish ourselves as a club if we are only satisfied with getting close.
“We have to use each game win or loss to learn more about who we are and what we could become,” added Newby.
There could be a basketball bonanza for BBLTV subscribers when Worcester Wolves host Bristol Flyers tonight in the other quarter-final tie taking place.
The visitors played out a double-overtime classic against another near neighbour in Plymouth University Raiders, during the previous round.
Meanwhile in the BBL Championship, Durham Wildcats entertain Glasgow Rocks on Sunday.
Enjoy the games!
Story – BBL
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