07 Dec 2017: The Weekly Preview

A busy weekend sees the combination of three competitions with Championship, Cup and Trophy action taking place.

This week’s schedule:

Friday 08 December 2017
(CH) Leeds Force v Manchester Giants, 7:30pm
(CH) Leicester Riders v London Lions, 7:30pm
(TRO) Esh Group Eagles Newcastle v Surrey Scorchers, 7:30pm
(CUP) Worcester Wolves v DBL Sharks Sheffield, 7:30pm

Sunday 10 December 2017
(TRO) Plymouth Raiders v Bristol Flyers, 4pm
(CUP) London Lions v Cheshire Phoenix, 5pm
(CH) Surrey Scorchers v DBL Sharks Sheffield, 5pm
(TRO) Team Northumbria v Worcester Wolves, 5:30pm

Game Previews:

Leeds Force v Manchester Giants

Details: Friday 08 December, 7:30pm, Carnegie Sports Centre, BBL Championship

Last meeting: Force 87-82 Giants (Championship, November 2017)

Summary: Two sides at the bottom with identical 1-10 records meet again on Friday night with Leeds’ only victory this season coming against Manchester last month. With teams above three wins clear, a victory for either side could spark a much-needed string of positive results.

Stat: Leeds have dominated the head-to-head in recent seasons having beaten the Giants on eight straight occasions.

Season record: Force 1-0 Giants

Info pack.

Leicester Riders v London Lions

Details: Friday 08 December, 7:30pm, Leicester Sports Arena, BBL Championship

Last meeting: Riders 59-67 Lions (Cup, October 2017)

Summary: Two of the top four meet for the first time in the league this season, though the Lions already tasted success in Leicester having knocked Rob Paternostro’s side out of the Cup. Riders have won four in a row, while London also have their Cup Semi-Final to contend with this weekend.

Stat: Centurions – Andy Thomson (98) and TrayVonn Wright (99) are both approaching 100 blocks in the BBL Championship.

Season record: Riders 0-0 Lions (0-1 all comps)

Info pack.

Worcester Wolves v DBL Sharks Sheffield

Details: Friday 08 December, 7:30pm, University Arena, BBL Cup Semi-Final

Last meeting: Wolves 86-84 Sharks (Play-Offs, April 2017)

Summary: The second Semi-Final gets underway in Worcester on Friday night with Paul James’ side looking to advance to the Cup Final for the first time. Last season, Sharks swept the season series in the league, but lost all three encounters in cup competitions.

Quote: “Everyone is super excited to make the Cup Final,” Sharks guard, Zach Gachette. “It’s the first piece of silverware up for grabs and we want to bring it back to Sheffield.

“We also have a few new guys on the team that haven’t yet played in any finals here, so they’re extremely excited about the upcoming Semi-Final games and continuing our journey.”

Last season: Wolves 0-3 Sharks (3-3 all comps)

Info pack.

Esh Group Eagles Newcastle v Surrey Scorchers

Details: Friday 08 December, 7:30pm, Sport Central, BBL Trophy

Last meeting: Eagles 103-80 Scorchers (Championship, November 2017)

Summary: The Eagles still sit at the top of the league standings, despite back-to-back defeats, and they will be looking to bounce back as the BBL Trophy begins. Surrey moved to 6-6 last week and will be looking to put together another strong performance on the road.

Stat: The two franchises have met twice before in the BBL Trophy, going head-to-head in successive Finals in 2008 and 2009.

Season record: Eagles 1-0 Scorchers

Info pack.

Plymouth Raiders v Bristol Flyers

Details: Sunday 10 December, 4pm, Plymouth Pavilions, BBL Trophy

Last meeting: Flyers 87-75 Raiders (Championship, September 2017)

Summary: The South-West derby is renewed once more in the First Round of the Trophy. Bristol won in the league on opening night and this will be the first of three meetings at the Pavilions this season between the two teams.

Stat: Bristol hold a 9-3 record in the BBL head-to-head including victories in both previous meetings in cup competitions.

Season record: Raiders 0-1 Flyers

Info pack.

Surrey Scorchers v DBL Sharks Sheffield

Details: Sunday 10 December, 5pm, Surrey Sports Park, BBL Championship

Last meeting: Sharks 93-64 Scorchers (Cup, November 2017)

Summary: A third meeting this season between the two with Surrey winning the season opener in the league before Sheffield avenged the loss with a dominant display in the Cup last month. Both teams complete double-headers looking to build upon their six league wins so far.

Stat: Rob Marsden is closing in on 1000 rebounds in the BBL Championship – currently on 982.

Season record: Scorchers 1-0 Sharks (1-1 all comps)

Info pack.

London Lions v Cheshire Phoenix

Details: Sunday 10 December, 5pm, Copper Box Arena, BBL Cup Semi-Final, Second Leg

*LIVE stream on UNILAD Facebook page*

Last meeting: Phoenix 74-87 Lions (Cup, December 2017)

Summary: The Lions returned home with a 13-point advantage to take into the Second Leg, but Cheshire have pulled off a number of impressive comebacks this season. Lions’ Mariusz Karol and Phoenix star CJ Gettys landed the Coach and Player of the Month awards for November.

Quote: “We have a big 40 minutes ahead of us and we will do all that is needed to prepare for the game,” Phoenix head coach, Ben Thomas.

“This is an opportunity that we do not want to slip through our hands.”

Season record: Lions 0-1 Phoenix (1-1 all comps)

Info pack.

Team Northumbria v Worcester Wolves

Details: Sunday 10 December, 6:30pm, Sport Central, BBL Trophy

First BBL meeting

Summary: Northumbria enter BBL competition for the first time as they host Worcester Wolves in the First Round of the BBL Trophy. Led by renowned British coach Marc Steutel, Northumbria topped the NBL D1 standings last year and will look to provide a stern test for the Wolves.

Look out for: Malcolm Smith was the NBL Division 1 MVP last season after leading his side to the regular season title, while Lewis Champion is a former GB U20 player and Danny Horta has played at Esh Group Eagles Newcastle.

Season standings: Northumbria 5-4, 7th (D1), Worcester 4-6, 9th (BBL)

Info pack.

EVERY game* is available LIVE via subscription at livebasketball.tv
Selected games streamed on UNILAD Facebook each week (as indicated above)

*does not include Trophy games involving non-BBL clubs