Without Phil Brandreth coach Matt Lloyd had to suit up on the bench for Cheshire Phoenix as they narrowly missed out on a win at Durham Wildcats.
Despite the Phoenix never leading at the end of a quarter they kept the game within reach as Chez Marks continued to return to his best scoring 29 points at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre.
He was supported by a strong double-double 19 points and 14 rebounds by centre Alif Bland and 18 points from Gabe Haskins.
In the end Lloyd was not required as the Phoenix, despite great work against them from old boy Keith Page (23pts) and Ralph Bucci (23pts, 16rb), ran the game close in the final quarter, closing the gap to two points twice in the final 10 minutes.
But Dave Elderkin’s side hung on to keep their play-off hopes alive and put a bit of pressure on the Phoenix, who may need to find a way to flesh out their roster if they are to maintain their play-off and trophy hopes.
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