by Jordan Ellis
Cheshire Phoenix welcome London Lions to Ellesmere Port Sports Village in the BBL this Sunday.
The Nix will look to stick to their tested brand of basketball and feed off their crowd’s energy to secure the victory.
This BBL Championship fixture comes after their convincing victory against Newcastle Eagles the week before.
Now, they must turn their attention to the league leaders who are in explosive form.
London come into this fixture boasting a 17-2 win/loss record, having not lost in the league since early November.
Cheshire will be looking to end that streak and make life hard for the visitors.
Head Coach Ben Thomas said: “Defensively we’re tough and teams find it hard to score on us.”
A combination of rest, recovery and training will be key for Phoenix in the days leading up to the difficult fixture.
Point Guard Marcus Evans said: “[we will] get some rest, watch some film as a team.
“We have to go in there with confidence and, like we have been doing, play our style of basketball.”
Phoenix will be looking to replicate their form from the BBL Trophy Final 2022, where they beat London Lions 82-68.
However, only Sheffield Sharks and Bristol Flyers have managed to beat London Lions in the league this season.
Evans continued: “It’s always going be a tough game, you have to virtually play perfect to beat them.”
Perfect is exactly what the Nix will be striving for.
Larry Austin Jr. enters this game having scored 25 against Newcastle, and Will Neighbour will want to make a statement against his former club.
The home crowd play a crucial role in any success for the Nix and will be need to be at full volume this Sunday.
Small Forward Jamell Anderson said: “The fans are like the player on the court that no one can see.
“I’ve lost my voice, not because I’m shouting at my teammates, but because I’m shouting at these people [the fans].
“They’re incredible, they feed off our energy, we feed off their energy.
“It’s a great relationship and we appreciate every single one of them.”
The Nix cannot solely prepare for the clash with London Lions, however.
The night before the 12th, the squad travel to Surrey Scorchers for a BBL Trophy game.
Thomas explained: “[it is a] real tough weekend for us, both teams are in form at the moment, so we have got a lot of work to do this week.”
Cheshire will be hoping their defensive solidity and free-scoring back court will be enough to stop the stampede that is London Lions this Sunday (February 12).