HEAD coach Matt Lloyd admitted his Cheshire Phoenix side lost the numbers game against Durham Wildcats as his team struggle to find players to bolster their ranks.
In their first home game of 2013 in the BBL Championship, the Phoenix started brightly, but were unable to maintain their intensity and ended up losing 94-82.
Lloyd said his threadbare squad was finding it tough to cope without reinforcements.
“We came out well and played good defence and offence for most of the first half,” he said. “The short rotation is having a massive effect on the game in terms of what we can do. Chez Marks picked up some cramp in the fourth quarter and Chris (Pearce) came on and did a good job but if it had been more serious than cramp you’re looking at future games and only having six players.
“We are looking out there but we are quite limited in what we can provide to a new person coming in. We are quite specific in what we are looking for as well. It’s about 50-50 that someone will come in.
“An area we really need to improve on is rebounding. If someone was to come in and give us more rebounds then that would be great.”
The Phoenix stretched a 20-13 first-quarter lead over the Wildcats and looked capable of much more.
Their form continued into the second, opening up an 11-point gap, but Jerome Gumbs, Chez Marks, Shawn Myers, Gabe Haskins and Alif Bland, supported by just Chris Pearce from the bench, faded away.
Bland (18pts), Gumbs (24pts) and Haskins (13pts) kept their scoring up but the Phoenix’s problems winning rebounds and stopping shots proved their undoing.
By the end of the third period, Dave Elderkin’s Wildcats led 66-59 and the wind had been taken out of the Phoenix’s sails.
The Phoenix travel to Glasgow Rocks on Friday (7.30pm) and entertain Plymouth Raiders at the Northgate Arena, Chester, on Sunday (5.30pm).