Preview: Rocks v Phoenix


After a busy fortnight, Cheshire Phoenix coach John Lavery is happy with the schedule this weekend, even if it does mean a long road trip to Glasgow.

“It’s good to have a one-game weekend for a change,” he said.

“We had two weeks in a row with Friday and Sunday games, and with a short rotation, it means the guys can get an extra day off this week.”

It was a mixed weekend for the Phoenix, who lost in overtime at Worcester last Friday, but bounced back with a home win over Manchester Giants in Sunday’s North West derby to strengthen their hold on seventh place in the BBL Championship.

“The crowd was absolutely fantastic, it was a sell-out at the Northgate,” added Lavery, whose side have not lost at home for over two months.

“The atmosphere against Leicester was good, but Manchester was better.”

The Rocks were the last team to win in Chester, back on 24th November, but Sterling Davis is expecting a tougher game in Glasgow this Sunday.

“We have to try and cut down their scorers’ averages and productivity,” said the Rocks’ player-coach.

“Their success has been in the hands of their big three of Victor Moses, Dominique Coleman, and Reggie Middleton.”

Recent signing Chris Johnson will make his debut on Sunday and the Rocks believe it’ll take a game or two for the Canadian swingman to become acclimatised to the BBL game.

“I think it will be an adjustment just as any other new player to the league,” said Davis.

“It’s a different game that is also called differently from what guys just out of college are used to.”

Last time they met:

Cheshire Phoenix 90 Glasgow Rocks 102 (BBL Championship, Northgate Arena, Chester, 24/11/2013)

What they say:

Cheshire Phoenix coach John Lavery: “It’s going to be a tough road trip for us, Sterling’s going to need to get them guys winning some games for them to make the BBL Play-offs, because Durham’s making a push now. It’s all to play for, and all to fight for, so we expect a really tough game.”

Rocks forward Daniel Northern: “Cheshire are playing great basketball right now. I believe they have their big three, but the fact that they honestly only play about six players, I think we have to key on them all!

“Chris Johnson is very new to the team and arrived last Friday. He will be practicing with us this week as we prepare for Cheshire. I’m a believer in the coach and management of the Rocks, so I’m sure he will plug in whatever hole we may be missing.”

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