Everton Tigers will be aiming to reach the BBL Trophy semi-final when they host BiG Cheshire Jets on Friday evening.
Coach Tony Garbelotto is expecting a difficult test when his side host the Northgate Arena outfit: “They are our local rivals, and I still maintain they are better than their record suggests. They showed what they are capable of against Leicester last week. I haven’t seen the full details of the game yet, but that’s an impressive victory. They have a lot of scoring threats that can really hurt you.”
Tigers also won 83-74 at Northgate Arena in a BBL Championship clash in late November, and Jets coach Paul Smith knows what his team has to do if they are to keep their Trophy hopes alive on Merseyside: “We need to compete for the full four quarters. We led for three [periods] last time and they just turned us over in the fourth. They are a very good fourth quarter team.”
Meanwhile, Marshall MK Lions will be looking to continue their fine record against PAWS London Capital when the sides meet in the BBL Trophy at Bletchley Leisure Centre.
The Lions have already won three times at Capital City Academy this season, and have defeated Capital in all seven meetings since the London side entered the BBL last season. The most recent one came last week in the BBL Trophy but Vince Macauley’s team were made to fight all the way before returning home with a 92-84 victory.
Macauley was a happy man after his side kept their Trophy hopes alive with a win in London: “It’s always tough going down to Capitals and recently they probably should have beaten Worthing and the Rocks, so we expected a battle and that’s what we got despite a really good first quarter from us. I am delighted with the win especially without Yorick [Williams].”
Each tam have won on their opponent’s floor this season, and Eagles coach Fab Flournoy is expecting a another tough game: “They are a talented team with some extremely good players, but they’ve been a bit inconsistent. They’re a new group of players, and that’s plagued them a bit. They’ve been a bit unlucky in the two Trophy losses, as they were right there against us and Rocks, and it came down to the late stages where our veteran players made the difference. Their win against the Rocks last week means they are still alive in the competition, but it’s a must-win game for us as well. We’re at home so that will give us the extra boost, but they are the only team to win here this season so they’ll have that physiological boost. We just need to get the game won to make sure we’re in the semi-finals.”