RESURGENT BiG Storage Cheshire Jets hope to have their BBL Trophy destiny in their own hands by the time they take on Leicester Riders at the Northgate Arena on Sunday.
Jets’ qualification chances hinge firstly on tomorrow’s meeting between MK Lions and the Riders. If the Lions fail to win, the Jets will go into Sunday’s game knowing a home victory would see them top their group and book a semi-final showdown with Newcastle Eagles next month.
A victory for the Lions over the Riders tomorrow would spell the end of Jets’ chances and make Sunday’s game a dead rubber.
Jets kept their Trophy hopes alive last weekend by beating Riders and the Plymouth Raiders – their third and fourth wins on the spin.
Director of basketball Paul Smith said: “We’re getting a bit of form and the ball is bouncing our way.”
The 96-91 win at Leicester was achieved despite Jets having to play the final four minutes with only four men after Matt Otten and James Hamilton were fouled out and Marc Pratt suffered a dislocated shoulder.
“It wasn’t easy,” admitted Smith. “It was probably the longest four minutes of my life. With one guard and three forwards it was hard getting the ball up the floor.
“Fortunately we had enough in the bank to get the win.”
Smith is looking for the Jets to continue their good form when they face the Riders, who are already eliminated from the competition.
He said: ”We’ve been playing more as a team recently, and we’ve had better ball movement. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that we have two main scorers, but other guys can step up, and we need to get the ball to whoever has the hot hand.”
Despite Riders’ dip in form, Smith expects them to provide the Jets with a tough test.
He said: “Terrance Woodyard is a great rebounder, he can shoot the ball well, and he reminds me of Calvin Davis when he was with us. Their new guy, Carlos White, will be a monster on the boards as the season progresses.”
Pratt is likely to be out of action for between four and eight weeks after suffering his second dislocation of the season.
Tip-off on Sunday is at 5.30pm.