Worcester Wolves v Plymouth Raiders
BBL March 18th 2016
Worcester University Arena
© Paul Davies Photography 2016
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British Basketball League (BBL) WEEK 28 Preview

Our weekly look at the action ahead in the BBL.

Focus
Plymouth University Raiders v Cheshire Phoenix

Where and when:

Plymouth Pavilions, 4.00pm Sunday 27 March

Summary:

Plymouth Raiders will hope to have their talismanic leader fit and firing again when they welcome Cheshire Phoenix for one of their biggest games of the season.

The two teams go into Sunday’s crunch meeting tied on 24 points, sitting just inside the Play-Off places.

Raiders were without player-coach Daryl Corletto for last Friday’s defeat to Worcester Wolves before he returned, despite not being fully fit, to help his team claim a key victory against Bristol Flyers.

Phoenix bounced back from two consecutive defeats to beat Sheffield Sharks in dramatic fashion and tee things up nicely for this one.

Raiders have already claimed the season series, and with it the head-to-head tie-breaker, but Sunday’s victors will take a big step towards the post-season.

Last time they met:

Plymouth Raiders 100 Cheshire Phoenix 89 (BBL Championship, Plymouth Pavilions, 21 February 2016)

Form:

Raiders: WLWWLW
Phoenix: LWWLLW

Three Points:

Daryl Corletto missed Raiders’ trip to Worcester Wolves last weekend with flu
Phoenix have won seven of the last eight meetings between these teams
Raiders forward Adrien Sturt, who played for Phoenix last season, needs eight more made field goals to reach 500 in the BBL Championship

What they say:

Raiders player-coach Daryl Corletto: “I am feeling a bit better now, I missed last Friday with the flu, the boys battled hard and showed a lot of character to get back up on Sunday and beat Bristol in a big game.

“I was about 70% fit Sunday but I will be 100% by this weekend for a huge game against Cheshire.

“This is a huge game in terms of where both teams could finish in the Play-Off race, for us we will be focusing on how we can get better again this week. We have had a pretty good six weeks now but it’s now time to step it up again and hopefully lock away a Play-Off spot. Once the Play-Offs start it’s a new season and anything can happen.

“Cheshire are a team that is playing great basketball right now, they are building at the right time of the season. They have some quality scorers on their squad with [Akeem] Ellis and [Kinu] Rochford.

“They play a very up-tempo style of game which we also like to play so it should be an entertaining game.

“Again to beat a team like Cheshire we need to play with effort and intensity for 40 minutes, these are two things we can control so I’m sure the guys mind-sets will be ready to go on Sunday.”

Phoenix captain David Aliu: “The Plymouth game is massive. It’s another must-win. If we can win that game it puts us in a really good place in terms of making the Play-Offs.

“We’ve got the kind of team this year where we have lots of guys that can score, lots of energy. For me, my whole objective this season is just keeping everybody on the same page and sticking together.

“When it comes down to the end of the season, it is those teams that stick together and are close that are the ones that are going to do a lot better.

“I’ve just been trying to be that glue.

“We’ve got so many fantastic scorers, it’s just important that when I’m on the court, I try and keep everybody together.”

Fixtures
THIS WEEK’S GAMES

Friday 25 March 2016
CH 19:30 Sheffield Sharks v Bristol Flyers
CH 19:30 Surrey Scorchers v Leicester Riders

Saturday 26 March 2016
CH 19:30 Leicester Riders v Bristol Flyers

Sunday 27 March 2016
CH 17:00 Glasgow Rocks v Leeds Force
CH 18:00 Manchester Giants v Surrey Scorchers
CH 16:00 Plymouth University Raiders v Cheshire Phoenix

Wednesday 30 March 2016
CH 19:30 London Lions v Cheshire Phoenix
CH 19:30 Surrey Scorchers v Leicester Riders

Source: BBL
Image: P.Davies