CHESHIRE Phoenix have plenty of work to do if they are to secure a place in the BBL Trophy final.
They went down to a 74-60 home defeat to Sheffield Sharks in Sunday’s semi-final first leg tie.
The second leg takes place at the EIS Sheffield on Friday (7.30pm) – and the Phoenix know they must overturn a 14-point deficit.
Phoenix head coach Matt Lloyd is staying positive.
He said: “It’s a winnable second leg. It’s obviously hard going into that game without those 14 points but it’s still winnable.
“Their points were spread evenly across four guys. I think we have still got to do a better job defensively, but we’ll be all right.
“Our execution let us down in terms of shot selection but sometimes the shots fall and sometimes they don’t.”
Phoenix’s chances of victory would be boosted if Jerome Gumbs recovers from illness in time to make the trip to Yorkshire.
He missed the first game against the Sharks and coach Lloyd is unsure how long the player will be out for.
Lloyd said: “It is still inconclusive in terms of what we’re dealing with in terms of his illness.
“He’s been speaking to the doctors and they have been helping him but it’s a case of time.
“It’s not like an injury where you can treat it and rush back in some cases. With an illness it’s internal and it kills you mentally and physically. It has drained him and he’s struggling.”
A buzzer-beating three -pointer from Gabe Haskins cut the deficit from 17 to 14 on Sunday.
Neither side really took hold of the tie, with both teams wasteful with their shots and executing spells of very tough defence.
Jets had been in BBL Championship action at Manchester Giants two days previously. They lost 94-78 and Lloyd admitted: “They just came out and they were hungrier than we were. That’s the toughest result to take so far I think.”
The Phoenix travel to Surrey Heat for a league game on Sunday (3pm).