It’s the penultimate weekend of the regular season and it could see the crowning of new BBL champions.
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle are bidding to claim the win double at Birmingham Knights tomorrow night and then at Surrey United on Sunday, which will see them take the league title.
“We will be focused on keeping our level of play high for these two games,” insisted forward Scott Martin (pictured), in anticipation of his first BBL silverware.
“We feel that we have been improving every time we step onto the court and we want to continue that trend.
“Also, playing games on back-to-back days is always a challenge that we have to be mentally and physically prepared for.”
In fact, a loss for Worcester Wolves this evening at home to current title holders Leicester Riders, would mean only a win against Knights would be required for Newcastle.
However, the Wolves are in the mood to keep their title hopes alive according to head coach, Paul James.
He said, “I thought we played really well in both games last weekend. We wanted to guard against a BBL Trophy hangover and I thought we applied ourselves very well.
Will Creekmore meanwhile will be hoping he brings two matching shoes after wearing odd ones against Manchester a couple of games ago.
“I was in a bit of a hurry prior to getting on the team bus and I have two pairs of white shoes and I just accidentally grabbed mismatching shoes.
“It was pretty embarrassing at first, but no one really said much,” laughed the Wolves’ center.
One Health Sharks Sheffield face Surrey United this evening on their home-court and will be looking to avoid any slip-up in the hope that they might be able to capitalise on the Eagles being unexpectedly beaten.
Cheshire Phoenix will secure fifth spot if they beat Birmingham Knights on Sunday and it looking further down the table, it promises to be a spectacular day in the context of the play-off race.
With three teams in Rocks, Giants and Durham all level with 12-18 records and Plymouth University Raiders just one win better off, it could prove to be a pivotal day of action.
Indeed Raiders’ coach, Jay Marriott is acutely aware of the importance of his teams’ trip to Manchester.
He said, “This is a huge weekend and both teams will want to take the head-to-head and look for that extra advantage in the play-off race.
“It seems all of us in the fight for seventh and eighth have a tough run-in, so will want to maximise opportunities.
“This will be a big game. There are absolutely no doubts about that.”
Glasgow host One Health Sharks Sheffield which looks particularly tricky, although Sterling Davis and his players received a huge boost from their win against Phoenix midweek.
And finally, Durham Wildcats look to have a sizeable challenge in trying to overcome Leicester Riders, with Kirk Crecco eager to make up for their loss of form.
“Leicester are obviously a very talented team with a lot of experience and their position in the league table demonstrates that,” reiterated the guard.
“They have some very good scorers and their athleticism makes them a tough defensive team.
“We will have to try to limit their easy looks and be patient enough on offence to get great shots, rather than settling for mediocre ones.
“We obviously didn’t have the showing we were hoping for this past weekend, but I think our team is still optimistic and has a positive outlook going into these next three games to try and solidify our spot in the play-offs.”
Enjoy the games!