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We have firepower for three-team title battle
1:00pm Thursday 16th January 2014 in Sport
IT looks like being a three-way battle for the British Basketball League title between Worcester Wolves, Newcastle Eagles and Leicester Riders.
Sheffield Sharks are still up there with a glimmer of a hope but I think it’s fair to say one of the other three are going to win the championship.
I watched Leicester beat Newcastle 72-69 in the BBL Cup final at the National Indoor Arena last Sunday and I think we are as defensively solid as either of them.
But I certainly think we’ve got more firepower and a little bit more discipline and structure than both those teams.
They still have to play each other three times in the league and someone is going to drop points because I can’t see Leicester sweeping Newcastle or vice-versa.
However, our aim is not to focus too much on what’s happening with them because a few weeks ago Cheshire Phoenix beat Newcastle well and we’ve got them up next.
Cheshire have won their last six games in a row, so it’s a massive game for us at the arena on January 24.
We really have to focus on winning the games we can and play to the best of our ability to give ourselves a chance.
Last Friday we beat Durham Wildcats and, in the cold light of day, it was a very good win.
I was a little bit grumpy after the game and I don’t know why because we scored 90 points and kept them down to 66 — on any day of the week you’d be happy with that.
“I just think we’ve got the players and ability to do way more than that.
We’ve set our standards and played some superb basketball throughout the season so when our level does drop slightly it tends to be a little bit disappointing.
But we have still beaten a good Durham side and beaten them well.
Now we have a break before we play Cheshire and that isn’t a good thing for our team because they thrive on playing games.
Instead, we will be training and going up against each other in practice which can be a bit monotonous for us.
I’ve got to keep it interesting for them and different so our minds stay active.
It’s not the ideal preparation going into what’s going to be a tough game.
We will do some fun things, we might even play a bit of five-a-side football, but we will do some team building stuff just to keep it fresh.
Prior to the cup final, I coached a BBL England select team against Ireland, which involved Kalil Irving.
Although we lost 75-66, we had a lot of fun with it and it was a chance to have a look at some of the better English players in the league and get to know them.