by Vlad Ionasc
Cheshire Phoenix will look for their third win in the BBL Championship when they’ll take on the Worcester Wolves at the University of Worcester Arena on the 10th of January.
The Nix will come into the fixture with the psychological advantage over their opponents, having eliminated the Wolves from the BBL Trophy on the 5th of January. However, that will also mean Worcester will be extra motivated to get one over Phoenix on Friday night.
Last time out, Cortez Edwards scored a game-high 23 points on 8-18 FG and 4-6 3PT shooting for the BBL Cup finalists. Mark Hughes also tallied 18 points however he wasn’t efficient, as the Phoenix defense held him to a below-par 37.5 FG%. Star forward Jordan Williams did not suit up for the fixture, while top-scorer Amir Williams only played 3:41 before checking out for the remainder of the game.
Ben Mockford led Phoenix scorers with 19 points on 7-15 FG. Parker Jackson-Cartwright showed out with an 18-point, 8-assist, 0-turnover performance, while Jalen Hayes contributed with a well-rounded game as he accumulated 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two blocks in 34 minutes of play. The defensive trio of Michael Ochereobia, Hayes and Demonte Flannigan held it down in the paint, as they swatted away six shots and limited the Wolves to just 41.7 FG% from close range.
The Nix have won just one game away from home in the regular season, 77-69 against the Manchester Giants. Having lost 88-89 to the Scorchers and 67-79 to the Glasgow Rocks, Phoenix’s away record stands at 1-2. For Cheshire to obtain their second road victory, they’ll have to replicate the relentlessness and dominance they displayed last Sunday against Worcester. The hustle stats (four steals, seven blocks) indicate that the Nix simply wanted the W more than their opponents.
The Nix will also have to shoot as they did on the 5th of January. 54.7% from the field and 36% from three-point territory are the numbers the Nix will aim to replicate on Friday night. Phoenix made just 69.2% of their shots from the stripe, so that’ll be an area they will have to improve on.
It will be a different challenge playing away at Worcester, with the possibility of Amir Williams and Jordan Williams returning to the floor, however, if the Nix successfully manage to restrict their opponents to 36.6 FG% and 30.8 3PT% yet again then Ben Thomas’ side will be in good shape at the end of the 40 minutes.
BRING THE NOISE! GO PHOENIX!