Riley’s late heroics give Phoenix opening victory.
Cheshire Phoenix 82-80 Surrey Scorchers (30-9, 40-38, 59-63)
Cheshire Phoenix opened their 2017-18 campaign with a thrilling home win against Surrey Scorchers in a topsy-turvy encounter.
Malcolm Riley drained the game-winning 3-pointer on his league debut for Phoenix with the visiting Scorchers left to fall to a 1-2 record.
Leading Scorers – Sandoval 26, May-Thompson 17, Riley 16, (Phoenix) – Hicks 23, Owumi 18, Robinson 13 (Scorchers)
Turning Point – Scorchers looked to be heading for the win – having battled back from 23 down (32-9) – when Alex Owumi drained the triple to make it 75-80, but an over-and-back turnover followed by an unsportsmanlike foul allowed Cheshire back into the game and they took their chance.
Key Stat – Cheshire struggled from beyond the arc with 29% accuracy, but made it count at the right time with the game-winner. It was a titanic effort from the starting five as they combined for all of their side’s 82 points.
Game Hero(es) – RJ Sandoval excelled with an important 26 points with just one miss, while Malcolm Riley stepped up when it mattered most with the game-winning three to deny Scorchers at the death.