BBL surprise package Surrey Heat will be looking to continue their excellent start to the BBL Championship season when they host the Rocks this afternoon.
Creon Raftopoulos’ team are third in the BBL Championship table with a 7-1 record, and have a game in hand over joint leaders Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders and Newcastle Eagles. One of those seven wins was an84-78 success at Surrey Sports Park against the Rocks, and the Scottish team arrive back at the same venue in seventh place with a three wins from six games.
Raftopoulos is clearly looking forward to an interesting match-up : “We expect a different game when the Rocks visit us for the second time this season. Both teams will have key personnel changes when we meet with Martelle McLemore out injured and Sterling [Davis] adding American centre Michael Ringgold to their roster. Sterling and I are both aware that this game holds playoff implications to it as a win for us will give us the season head to head should we finish with the same record.
“I think Sterling has put together a good roster and once his players all understand his system and their roles they are a team that will challenge for the Championship. They have had three losses in the league this season, two against Eagles and once against us so their current league position can be a little misleading with the three games they have in had on the two.
“My good friend EJ Harrison is always going to be number one priority on our scouting list and you add Keiron Achara, Gareth Murray and Davis to the mix you know they have experience and talent. I have also been impressed by what young guard Donald Robinson brings them in scoring so will show him a-lot of respect.”
Rocks’ player-coach Sterling Davis has praise for the Heat: “I commend Creon for the season they have had thus far. His guys play hard every night and it has shown in their very productive start. They are a dangerous team to go up against especially at home.
“I think they are really playing team basketball right now. The key to them is that guys know their roles on the team and they focus on that role only.”
Glasgow guard/forward Andrew Wedmire knows what to expect at Surrey Sports Park on Sunday: “Martelle McLemore – if he’s fit – and Chavis Holmes are key for them. Both can get to the basket and score in bunches.”
Surrey Heat have also added Chavis Holmes’s brother Travis to their roster, and he is expected to make his debut today.