Cheshire Phoenix head coach Ben Thomas hailed the team chemistry and character of his group as they picked up their third win in four games on Sunday night.
Trailing for much of their BBL encounter with London Lions, Cheshire moved through the gears in the final period to open up with a blistering 20-6 run to help them to a 78-71 success at the final buzzer.
The home side had been down by as many as 20 points at one stage but the late rally, aided by a bumper crowd at the Cheshire Oaks Arena who roared their team on down the stretch, ended in another success for rookie head coach Thomas, whose team has impressed early doors.
“I’m not surprised we are winning games and I don’t expect us to do anything else but win when we go out there,” said Thomas.
“When you are 20 points down it is easy to stop playing and to think that the game has gone away from you, but we never did that and kept on right until the very end and ended up coming out with the win.
“Surrey did a similar thing to us the other week and I think we learned from that situation and used it to our advantage against London.
“The team chemistry and character of the guys has been superb and it told once again as they were all out their working for each other and they got their rewards in the end.”
Malcolm Riley top scored for Cheshire with 24 points, while CJ Gettys and Orlando Jackman contributed important double-doubles, with former Rutgers University man Gettys’ efforts of 20 points and 12 rebounds providing real backbone to the performance.
In recent seasons Cheshire have seen an early-season roster overhaul, but Thomas believes careful recruitment is bearing fruit and wants to keep this group together.
“Good recruitment has lead to this situation,” he said.
“It is about keeping the guys together and we will have more chance of success and achieving something if we do that.
“We got our recruitment done early and that may have raised a few eyebrows, but we thought long and hard about the type of players we wanted and the type of characters we needed. It’s paying off for us and we are lucky that the guys have all clicked so early, but that is why we brought the right guys in.”
Another bumper crowd was in attendance again on Sunday and Thomas says the role that the fans have can’t be underplayed.
“Fans want to see winning basketball and that’s what we are trying to do,” he said.
“The crowd were amazing and came out in numbers and were a big factor.”