THE ever-improving BiG Storage Cheshire Jets travel to Leicester tomorrow in the first match of a double-header which sees them welcome Scottish Rocks to Warrington, not the Northgate, on Sunday.
The Jets have committed themselves to four games at the Birchwood Centre in Warrington this season as they try to spread their appeal throughout Cheshire.
First up in a crucial weekend, however, are the Riders. The Leicester De Montford University side are hot on the heels of the Jets in the BBL Championship and tomorrow offers Paul Smith’s men a chance to gain the edge on their rivals.
The teams were closely matched in their last encounter, also in Leicester, seven weeks ago.
Then the Jets recorded a thrilling 90-89 victory with the explosive Chez Marks leading all scorers with 28 points for the Jets.
Marks put up 39 points last weekend at London Capital in a fantastic 106-69 Jets victory, but Smith is still expecting a tough game tomorrow.
“The Riders are a very well put together team with good size and rebounding ability,” he said. “They have excellent BBL veterans in Rod Wellington, LaTrell Williams and Tony Windless.”
Leicester boss Rob Paternostro has a game plan for the match. He said: “They’re a tough team to match up against offensively but for me, Chez Marks is the key man. He’s a fantastic player. We need to control him if we’re going to get a result.”
On Sunday the Jets return home, but not quite. They will host a BBL Championship home game at their ‘outground’, the Birchwood Centre in Warrington.
Scottish Rocks are the visitors and Smith said he has not seen them in action yet this season.
“We know most of their players,” he said. “I think the backcourt of Rob Yanders and Blake Shelton is very strong.”
The Jets will feature new boys Phil Perre and Frank Pifer and Smith is delighted with the impact that the pair have made in just a fortnight.
“The new players are fitting in really well,” he said. “Phil has brought us loads of energy and intensity at both ends of the floor and Frank has brought us extra size and strength.”