Cheshire Phoenix head coach John Lavery says ‘something has to give’ this weekend as two of the British Basketball League’s form teams meet head on.
After visiting Newcastle Eagles tomorrow (Friday, 7.30pm), Lavery’s men welcome Leicester Riders to the Northgate Arena for a BBL Trophy tie on Sunday (5.30pm).
The Riders, flying high in the league, are fresh from winning the BBL Cup last weekend, while the Nix go into this weekend looking to extend their six-game winning streak to eight.
Lavery, BBL coach of the month for December, said: “We have spent five games on the road but we have built a six-game winning streak either side of Christmas. The Riders are on a eight-game winning streak so something has to give.”
Lavery is wary of the threat posed by the Riders and is hoping that a week off has done his team good. The Nix did not have a game at the weekend, while the Riders were busy beating Newcastle 72-69 in the BBL Cup final.
Lavery said: “It is going to be a tough test with them only having two defeats in the BBL Championship this season and we are determined to carry on our momentum despite having a week off from action.”
He added: “They have become the team to beat in recent times, winning their fourth trophy in two years, and there is no reason why we cannot follow their example and return to the summit of British basketball.”
Nix will be hoping American duo Victor Moses and Reggie Middleton can continue their form which has seen them light up the BBL with their performances so far this season.
Forward Moses is the second highest average points scorer in the league with 22.9 points behind Birmingham Knights’ Brent Benson. He also leads the average rebounds chart with 14.
His impressive rookie season saw him crowned player of the month for November and his eye-catching displays show no sign of holding up. Middleton has the highest total match points in the league with 387.
Nix fans and coach Lavery will be hoping he can extend his tally against Leicester.
Lavery said: “As a team I think we are improving every game, we just need to keep working hard for each other on both ends of the floor. Hopefully now we have a good settled mix of skills and talent.”
Admission on Sunday is £12 for adults and £8 for children.