The Sunday BBL Preview: 17th November 2013

Match-ups at the lower end of the BBL Championship dominate Sunday’s action, whilst another semi-finalist in the BBL Cup will be decided before the day is out.

Knights @ Raiders (4:00pm tip-off)

Jay Marriott and his Plymouth Raiders were left reeling by the turnaround Manchester Giants produced in the second half of their encounter last weekend, slightly derailing them from the leading BBL pack. Back at the Pavilions today, they will not want to fall foul of this potential banana skin against one of the two winless sides in the league.

These two teams have already met, in the BBL Cup, where Plymouth comfortably walked away from the North Solihull Sports Centre with a 103-72 win.

Birmingham were given a sharp reminder of how tough this league is after a 46 point defeat to Durham Wildcats in their game last Sunday, and with scoring, on average, less than 70 points per game on the road, Paul Douglas’ defense will have to be on their A-game to stand any chance of a result this afternoon.

Eagles @ Rocks (5:00pm tip-off – BBL Cup Quarter-Final)

The defeat to Durham Wildcats in the Championship last night can, for the moment, be put to the back of the mind for the entire Rocks organisation as they focus on progressing in the BBL Cup.

The stat-line was not a pretty picture to read, but with a winner-takes-all game, such as this one at the Emirates Arena in front of a home crowd needing to be more like a sixth man now, this has every opportunity for Glasgow to turn their season around.

However, the difficulty lies with who they are set to face; the mighty Newcastle Eagles.

Friday night saw today’s visitors tear apart the Giants, in what some regarded as nothing more than a training session for Flournoy’s team, and with this being one of their shorter trips in the season, the Eagles are looking for easy pickings, and right now, the form book says they could be in for a treat.

United @ Giants (5:30pm tip-off)

Surrey United were not able to make their fixture on Friday against Worcester Wolves as a result of bad traffic, so let’s hope for Manchester Giants and their fans’ sake that they started their journey early this Sunday morning. If you see any incidents on the roads though, tweet them @SurreyUnited

All being well the game will go on, and Surrey will be aiming, yet again, to find that elusive victory. Facing a side at the lower end of the table can do one of two things. They either find their competitive edge, or they buckle under the pressure. Their closest game, to date, was their 100-79 defeat at home to the Wildcats.

It’s been heard on the grapevine that Jeff Jones has now taken shares in Alton Towers. If you buy a job lot of Merlin Entertainment shares, you get a family pass for a year at a reduced rate.

I say this as the past week has seen more ups and downs than the Big One at Blackpool. They hauled themselves up Comeback Mountain last Sunday against Plymouth Raiders, only to suffer a huge drop from the summit of joy into the black hole at Sport Central on Friday.

This is where the Giants can now get themselves back on track, and not suffer going even further into Oblivion…(we’ll stop now with the rollercoaster puns – promise)

Wildcats @ Phoenix (5:30pm tip-off)

The feel-good vibe that will be bouncing around the Durham camp after their first ever victory over Glasgow Rocks, will have cause for concern for Cheshire Phoenix.

The Cheshire franchise, until Durham’s victory over the Knights last weekend, were the only side Durham have had a head-to-head series advantage.

Dominique Coleman and Gerald Robinson are hopeful to return to the Phoenix lineup after picking up knocks last weekend against Leicester Riders. Head coach John Lavery was faced with the decision to leave his starting five on court in their defeat last Sunday to London Lions, but knows this tough test will require as many of his roster as he can muster.

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