The Rocks will look to keep their push for a BBL Championship play-off place alive when they host basement side Mersey Tigers tonight.
The Rocks head into the game in seventh place in the Championship table with a 6-6 record, and they will face a Tigers team bottom of the table after 13 straight losses.
Rocks’ player-coach Sterling Davies is determined that his side will not suffer from complacency as they host the struggling Tigers: “Complacency in my opinion is a mental thing. The word’s meaning says you can do it but you are not mentally applying yourself for the task at hand. The mental aspect of the game is something you have to train your individual mind to do.
“Tigers are a young group of home grown talent that are trying to find themselves in this league right now. I am in the process of researching specifically what their strengths and weaknesses are at the moment. As there are so many new faces to the league with them it’s hard to pinpoint one guy as their key. We just need to be ready to execute on both ends of the floor.”
Rocks’ guard/forward Andrew Wedemire isn’t taking the Tigers lightly, either: “They have been struggling so far this year. But they are a team very hungry for a win and will do all they can to come up with one. I think their key players are Martin Calvo, and Josh Lockett.”
Mersey big-man Chris Bigley is ready to face the Rocks: “They’re similar to Newcastle in so far as their core remains similar year on year – Sterling has his philosophy and sticks by it, EJ Harrison, Gareth Murray and Davis himself know the Glasgow way and teach the incomers what’s what. They’re a hard working group and like all things Scottish they’ll never give up and roll over.
“In terms of key players, they’ve just lost one massive influence in terms of Keiron Achara, which is bitter-sweet for me because although we have a better ability to compete without him, it’s an honour and a pleasure to play against elite level players, oh, and he’s an Olympian.
“But what they have got is EJ Harrison, and Gareth Murray – as I’ve previously said those guys know what it takes to win in this league, and if they’re both at the races every team in this league will have a hard time dealing with them. As ever – we’re in for a tough weekend.”
Tigers’ coach Tony Walsh knows what to expect when his side arrive at the new Commonwealth Arena: “After sending people to watch the game against Cheshire they reported back that the Rocks are a steady team with an excellent coach in Sterling Davis, who had masterminded a excellent five game unbeaten run in November securing him the BBL Molten coach of the month a well deserved accolade after the coach changed the fortunes of their slow start to this season.
“Without Keiron Achara they have began to change their style within games, but after an impressive game over the weekend losing out to our local rivals, Phoenix. However the Rocks showed they too have scoring options with four players – Murray, Fantazia, Robinson and McNally – scoring double digit points and stepping up to the mark. I believe that key to winning our game will be defence, winning the boards will be imperative to who wins out of Mersey and Glasgow. My team is small in height but strong in grit and determination and it is down to me to find the missing part of the Tigers’ puzzle, we are in the process of searching for a big that will dominate our boards and give us the rebounds that we are lacking at present.”
The game sees the Rocks Christen the Emirates Arena Sports Hall – tickets are still available on the door.