Cheshire Phoenix vs Glasgow Rocks – PREVIEW
by Vlad Ionasc
Cheshire Phoenix (13-15) will look for a vital win in their play-off push when they visit the Glasgow Rocks (15-12) at the Emirates Arena on the 14th April.
The two sides have already met twice this season, the Rocks narrowly won both times. Sunday’s hosts will come into the game in great form, they have won four of their last five games while the Nix have lost two in a row. Glasgow will look for their 10th straight win at home when they face Cheshire. The Rocks currently sit in 4th place while Phoenix occupy the 7th position.
The Nix have played well in their last two games at home, despite being defeated both times. The team has moved the ball well and created good looks for themselves, however against the Flyers, the home side couldn’t buy a bucket, while against the Riders, the visitors just had a ridiculous shooting night against a Phoenix side that shot 54% from the field.
The team must continue to move the ball unselfishly and maintain full focus on the defensive end in order to give themselves the best chance of winning against the Rocks. They will need to take good care of the ball and avoid making any silly mistakes against the hosts, who have scored 402 points off of turnovers this season. The Nix will yet again profit from extra rest compared to their opponents. Ben Thomas’ side will have a full week to recover from their last game against the Riders, while the Rocks will have to travel to Leicester less than 48 hours before facing the Phoenix back at home.
The Rocks’ two marksmen, Gareth Murray and Tadas Rinkunas, will be the players that the Nix will have to look out for. They are both shooting 41% from three-point range this season and will undoubtedly be very hard to slow down on Sunday. The hosts also possess one of the best shot-blockers in the league, Kieron Achara is averaging 1.3 rejections per game while he’s also Glasgow’s leading rebounder, with 5.8 per game.
Jalen Hayes was the Nix’s leading scorer in their loss against the Riders, he contributed with 23 points. Momcilo Latinovic had 19 points as he connected on four out of seven three point attempts. Norl, Allen-Jordan and Gettys added 14 points each. The same team effort will be required from the players on Sunday in order for the team to secure their 14th win of the season. With only five games remaining until the start of the play-offs, the Nix will need to play at a high level and show maximum effort if they want to finish in the top eight.
BRING THE NOISE! GO PHOENIX!