Durham Wildcats and Glasgow Rocks meet at Newton Aycliffe Sports Centre today as the home-town Wildcats open their BBL Championship season.
Durham coach Dave Elderkin is hoping that he’ll learn about the Rocks team when they face champions Newcastle Eagles on Friday evening: “I know about their returning players, but very little about new signings, therefore we will be concentrating on what we do. However, I hope to get to or get a report from Rocks at the Eagles.”
Elderkin is pleased with how his side’s warm-up for the new season has progressed: “We’ve had a good pre-season, three weeks of training, five games, including the Eagles and Sharks. As far as the roster is concerned we still have a non-national [American] spot to fill, we’re looking but no signing at the moment. We are playing to get the number of wins required to make the end of season play-offs.”
Glasgow won all five meetings between the teams last season, sweeping the three-game series in the BBL Championship and winning both BBL Trophy encounters, but Rocks’ player-coach Sterling Davis isn’t expecting an easy game on Sunday:
“I know they have brought in new faces to their organization but whoever they have, they will be in order. They have and will always be well coached so you have to expect that. By returning Ralph Bucci [pictured], they have a solid leader at the point guard position. He was great last season in executing the coach’s system.”
While his side were ahead of most clubs when it came to recruiting this season’s roster, Davis admits that it’s been a hectic pre-season for the Rocks: “It’s gone quickly, that’s the first thing that comes to mind. But we have a good group here and are looking forward to getting going.”
Davis hasn’t ruled out adding to his roster, but is looking for the Scottish club to win their first piece of silverware since 2003: “I’m not sure yet on what direction we will move in when it comes to additions. Right now our focus is on what we have now and making that work.
“Realistically I want to win some silverware just as it should be for every team in the league. If we are not ‘realistically’ playing to win, then what are we doing here?”