Cheshire Phoenix will be on TV next Tuesday for the first time since they rose from the ashes.
Their BBL Championship road trip against Glasgow Rocks tomorrow, which will see Mike Burton take control of team affairs in the absence of Matt Lloyd, will be Sky TV’s featured game on their Tuesday night as-live broadcast (8pm, Sky Sports 3).
And Lloyd is hoping the work he has done with the team this week will enable them to deliver a better performance than the last time they visited the Emirates Arena, when Sterling Davis’ Rocks beat the Phoenix 95-78.
Victory would give the Phoenix the head-to-head advantage over the Rocks, having won their initial encounter 90-79 at the Northgate Arena.
“I feel we could do a better job than last time,” said Lloyd. “We had a long road trip on the Friday to London before playing them so we will be a little fresher than last time.
“I think it’s our defence we need to improve on, the team can play offence and score but we seem to be conceding a lot of points particularly after the half time break.
“Rocks are a tough team to beat especially, on their home floor. This is the third time that we are facing them and we currently spilt the series so it’s another important game for us.”
On Sunday Plymouth Raiders make their first visit of the season to the Northgate Arena (5.30pm).
The game will bring Matt Schneck, Colin O’Reilly and Jamal Williams back to the place they began their British Basketball League careers. And they will notice some fundamental changes to the team they left following their salvation from the jaws of disaster, as the club has a new name, new colour scheme and a new drive to succeed on and off court from its supporter base.
“It's been a long time since we played the Raiders at their place in October,” said Lloyd.
“They have some really talented players in Schneck and O’Reilly but they seem to be more together since the arrival of Rod Brown. He is a real good pick-up for them and will be looking to distribute the ball to whoever is hot at the time.”
Raiders’ coach Gavin Love knows what to expect on Sunday: “The Phoenix are a high scoring team with a bunch of good players that can really have big days.
“Our former players Jerome Gumbs and Chez Marks are their go-to guys but Gabe Haskins and Alif Bland are both having solid seasons to date.
“We did a decent job last time we played but our defence has to improve vastly from last weekend and that’s a focus in practice this week.”