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Cheshire Phoenix vs London Lions – Preview

by Vlad Ionasc

Cheshire Phoenix will look to bounce back from last night’s defeat against the Surrey Scorchers when they’ll face off against the London Lions later this evening.

Cheshire will be backed by the Nix Nation for the first time since March, as a limited number of supporters will be allowed to spectate the game at the EPSV.

The Lions come into the fixture on the back of a 101-95 victory over the Plymouth Raiders on Friday night.

GAME DETAILS

Date: Sunday, 13th December, 2020

Tip-off: 5 p.m.

Competition: BBL Championship

Where: EPSV (limited in-person attendance)

How to watch: BBL Player

The BBL Player is the new one-stop-shop for all BBL action as you can watch every club and every game (excluding Bristol’s home gameslive and on-demand for £19.99 per month. Alternatively, single-game passes are priced at £4.99.

Because of how the BBL is structured, all the money from the BBL Player goes directly to the clubs, so make sure to select the Cheshire Phoenix as your ‘club to support’ when registering, as all the revenue will help carry the club through this incredibly difficult period of financial insecurity.

LIONS SCOUTING REPORT

Photo Credit: London Lions

The Lions snapped up former NBA players – DeAndre Liggins and Byron Mullens – during the offseason while they also secured the services of other highly rated players such as Dirk Williams, Kingsley Okoroh, Chris Tawiah, Kevin Ware, Josh Ward-Hibbert, Shane Walker, Fahro Alihodzic and Orlando Parker.

London also retained two-time BBL MVP Justin Robinson alongside Joe Ikhinmwin, Andre Lockhart, Ed Lucas and Jules Dang Akodo.

Brandon Peel, Ovie Soko, Jordan Whelan, Buay Tuach, Alioune Tew, and Sam Toluwase all left the club during the summer.

The Londoners added Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Kervin Bristol, and Stephen Brown during the offseason but they’ve all left/been cut already.

The Lions were expected to dominate the league following their summer acquisitions, but chemistry issues have troubled the Londoners and despite qualifying for the Quarter-Final stage of the BBL Cup, they only obtained an underwhelming 3-3 record in the group stage.

Vince Macaulay’s team lost their opening game of the regular season against the Newcastle Eagles but bounced back well against the in-form Raiders on Friday night.

Liggins averaged a league-leading 21 points-per-game in the first phase of the BBL Cup.

KEY PLAYERS

Photo Credit: London Lions

London Lions: DeAndre Liggins – The 6-foot-5 guard has teamed with some of the game’s biggest stars throughout his illustrious career (LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, John Wall, and Kyrie Irving just to name a few…) so he won’t be phased by anyone in the BBL. Liggins was known as a defensive specialist during his time in the NBA and G-League but he’s been handed a much bigger role in London and has shown that he can also score, rebound, and assist at an elite level.

Cheshire Phoenix: Jalen Hayes – The Nix have one of the most lethal backcourts in the BBL and 7-foot center Jimbo Lull is capable of going to battle against any big in the league, as long as he avoids foul trouble. Hayes will have to be the X-factor against the Lions. Phoenix’s captain has the energy, athleticism, and most importantly the skill to go up against the likes of Orlando Parker and Shane Walker. A big bonus for the Nix comes from the fact that Hayes teamed up with Liggins in the G-League so he’s familiar with his tendencies and style of play.

Photo Credit: Adam Day

COACH’S CORNER

Photo Credit: Adam Day

Ben Thomas: “Tonight’s game against a very good London side will be a big test for us, especially being our second game within 24 hours!”

“Last night’s defeat was very tough to take and we are looking for a bounce back performance!”

NEXT HOME GAME

The Nix will be visited by Louis Sayers and his Newcastle Eagles on the 20th of December!

GO PHOENIX!

 

 

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