by Vlad Ionasc
Cheshire Phoenix will look to build on their North-West Derby win when they’ll face NBL side Hemel Storm in the First Round of the BBL Trophy.
This will be Hemel’s second game of a back-to-back, having played against Barking Abbey (84-81 win) on Saturday night.
Recent history is on Phoenix’s side, as they’ve advanced past the first round of the Trophy in the last five seasons. Their last opening round defeat came against the Plymouth Raiders way back in the 2014-15 campaign.
Cheshire will have the chance to pick up back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Date: Sunday, February 7th, 2021
Tip-off: 5 p.m.
Competition: BBL Trophy
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 games) live 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.
STORM SCOUTING REPORT
Tonight’s visitors are 5-2 in the NBL Division One and sit in 5th place behind Derby Trailblazers, Solent Kestrels, Thames Valley Cavaliers and Team Newcastle.
Greg Poleon leads the NBL in scoring with 27 points-per-game on 71.6% FG and ranks third in rebounding with 11 boards per night.
Rutgers alum Mike Williams is averaging 23.9 points and 6.6 rebounds. The 6-foot-2 American guard is shooting an eye-popping 45.5% from three-point land.
British point-guard Bode Adeluola is also a capable scorer, as he’s currently averaging 19.8 points and 3.2 assists per contest.
Former Leicester Riders & Surrey Scorchers guard — Levi Noel — is Hemel’s top distributor with 5.7 assists per game and also one of their best free-throws shooters at 84.2% FT.
11 players suited up for the Storm in last night’s game against Barking Abbey.
Dru Spink’s men struggled from deep, as they made just six of 19 attempts, whilst allowing BA to take 37 shots from three-point territory.
Despite allowing their opponents to haul in 10 offensive rebounds, Hemel actually won the rebounding battle 44-to-32.
Storm racked up just 11 assists and committed 21 turnovers against Barking Abbey.
Spink’s side drew 24 fouls and tallied 26 attempts from the line (20-26 FT; 76%).
Hemel Storm: Greg Poleon — The 6’6 American forward, who spent two years at Pace University in NCAA D2, is having a career year so far, averaging 27 points and 11 rebounds per contest. Poleon chipped in with a 25-point, 12-rebound double-double in Hemel’s win over Barking Abbey so he’ll look to continue his fine run of form and prove himself against BBL opposition.
Cheshire Phoenix: Matthew Bryan-Amaning — The Washington alum will make his debut in Phoenix colours tonight and he’ll look to set the tone from the get-go. MBA averaged 15 points and 2.7 assists per night during his short time (6 games, 5 starts) in Worcester. In the BBL Championship, he ranks second in rebounds (8.7) and blocks (1.2) per game.
Ben Thomas: “After not being able to compete in the Cup how we would have liked, this Trophy competition is now more important than ever!
“We have a very tough test against a very talented Hemel side. We cannot underestimate them and have to come ready to play at our very best. It’s win and move on or it can be the end today. We’re going out there to win and progress!”
NEXT HOME GAME
The Nix welcome the Glasgow Rocks to the EPSV on Sunday 14th February.