BILLY Singleton says the experience of joint-captains Shawn Myers and Calvin Davis will be vital when his depleted Chester Jets entertain Westfield Sharks Sheffield on Sunday.
The Jets' player-head coach expects to have only seven players at his disposal for the Northgate Arena clash following last week's shock departure of American duo David Fanning and Gentry Lewis.
American stand-out guard Philip Gilbert, 23, has been drafted in as a replacement for Fanning, who quit the Jets just three games into the season due to a toe injury.
However, the 6ft 3in graduate of Bradley University in St Louis, Missouri, is unlikely to play this weekend as he waits for the paperwork on his deal to be completed.
The same applies for the mystery player Jets are trying to sign as a replacement for Lewis, who was axed last week because of his poor disciplinary record.
It all means a great deal of responsibility will be placed on the experienced trio of Singleton, Myers and Davis on Sunday.
But the Jets' head coach is ready for the challenge.
'Our experience is going to be very important,' said Singleton. 'I just hope we have enough to pull out a victory. It will be a very thin squad. The situation with the two Americans leaving is unfortunate but these things happen and we're going to field a team against Sheffield and try to compete.
'We'll try to come out with a victory but we've got to go out and play as hard as we can.
'It would be against the odds if we won, given the circumstances.'
As for new arrival Gilbert, Singleton said: 'Philip is a combination-guard who can play both the point and the two-guard positions. He was a four-year starter at Bradley University and had a really good career there. He was one of their all-time leading scorers in school history.'
In his senior year at Bradley, Gilbert averaged 16 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.
'He's a good player and a hard worker,' added Singleton. 'Mostly though, he's a pretty big-time scorer. He also has great athletic ability.'
Gilbert will have a fight on his hands for the point-guard spot at the Northgate Arena as young British player Anthony Martin is second in the league for assists with 8.67 per game. But Singleton has every intention to mix it up in the backcourt.
'Philip will definitely play some point guard but I want to utilise him as a combo guard. He will play a lot at both the one and two spots,' said the New Yorker.
Jets have lost two of their first three games this season, but they won their only home game to date against Plymouth Raiders.
The Sharks are seventh in the BBL table with one win and a defeat to their name.