Zaire TAYLOR 1

There are eight games in total to enjoy, with an absolute cracker in prospect at the University of Worcester Arena when the home town Wolves welcome London Lions and a certain Zaire Taylor.

The 2013-14 MVP returns to his former team for the first time and his former coach, Paul James is tipping Lions for success this season.

He said, “In this league, if you can get guys of the mentality of Zaire (and Drew Sullivan) there and put some really good players around them, you give yourself a really good opportunity of winning something.

“It is just finding that combination of players that are going to be able to work together. If you get the players who are able to come in and work hard and play to a system, then you give yourselves every chance of winning something.

“It’s just taken a little bit longer for everyone to find what their role is and how they sit within the system, but I am sure it will come.”

Vince MACAULAY - 1

His counterpart Vince Macaulay had been hoping for the inside track from Taylor but wasn’t too impressed with his player’s scouting report and joked, “Zaire has given us a few tips, – unfortunately they are all about Will Creekmore!”

At the other end of the table, Leeds Force will be eager to rack up their first BBL Championship success when they entertain fellow strugglers Surrey United tonight and captain Armand Anebo is confident the newcomers are on the right track.

He insisted, “We are heading in the right direction and having everyone back and healthy definitely helps.

“Especially the likes of Will Hall and Branimir Mukulic, who have both been outstanding for us in the past couple of games – while Patrick Nyeko has also been a major boost for us.”

From a United perspective, Trevor Setty believes his side need to start closing the door on their opponents if they want to add to their win tally.

“Our defence has been awful and I believe this is something to do with trying not to foul due to our limited bench,” explained the guard.

“I believe we can only get better and there are so many positives to take from the early season struggles.

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“Leeds have struggled as well, but on any given night in this fine sport we play, some teams can find their groove and go on a run.”

Leeds Force also feature in the BBLTV game on Sunday when they go to face a refreshed Leicester Riders, whose head coach Rob Paternostro claims have benefitted from an extended break.

“It gave us an opportunity to try and get healthy,” confirmed the paly-caller.

“The schedule that we had before with three back-to-backs, certainly left us with a lot of bumps and bruises.

“We have also had an opportunity to continue to get a chance to play together. It’s a new group and having all that practice time has certainly helped us get more familiarity.

“We feel like we are in better shape than we were a couple of weeks back.”

EAGLES FANS

Esh Group Eagles Newcastle head down the A1 to face Sheffield Sharks tonight – the team they will now face in the BBL Cup semi-finals. Although not that player-coach FabFlournoy is looking that far ahead. Trying to conquer silverware on all fronts is a demanding task and he is relying on his senior players to help get the job done.

He explained, “Charles (Smith) and Darius (Defoe) are critical to our continued success.

“Darius has always had the potential to be a dominant player in our league and is starting to show that, while Charles provides us with focus, leadership and an incredibly high basketball IQ.”

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While it is the only test for the Eagles this weekend, the Sharks have a tricky test at Bristol Flyers tomorrow. And, the Flyers also have a difficult road trip themselves on Sunday at Glasgow Rocks.

The last time Flyers went to the Emirates was on the first weekend of the campaign and they returned with a fabulous victory. The south-west club have also been boosted by beating Worcester Wolves away last weekend to reach the last four of the BBL Cup – a result which confirmed they can continue to take big scalps.

“It will give us a lot of confidence moving forward,” confirmed Roy Owen.

“We were determined to get ourselves back to the way we were playing in the first few games of the season after the three defeats before that.

“The one lesson we have learnt early is that we have to take each game at a time and not get too high or low after wins or losses.

“It will take a great team performance and 100 per cent focus throughout as Sheffield have an extremely talented team, so we need to be at our best in order to get a win.”

Elsewhere this weekend, Manchester Giants host Plymouth University Raiders tomorrow night and Cheshire Phoenix welcome Durham Wildcats to the Northgate Arena on Sunday.

Enjoy the games!

Story – BBL


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