By Thomas Morgan.
Phoenix Host BBL Trophy Semi-Final bout against Sheffield Sharks
Cheshire Phoenix are looking to make back-to-back BBL Trophy finals this Sunday as they battle the B.Braun Sheffield Sharks.
The Nix are the defending BBL Trophy champions after taking down London Lions at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow last year.
Larry Austin Jr. got a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds which led the team to their fifth-ever BBL Trophy.
Head Coach Ben Thomas will look to repeat history this time out, with Austin Jr. still playing a pivotal part to The Nix’s success in this competition:
“Larry is so important to the way we play.
“He offers a variety of different offensive outputs and can help the team out of difficult situations when needed.”
A convincing quarter-final victory over Surrey Scorchers put the Nix in the final four this year, with Marcus Evans’ 25 points integral to the team’s offensive flow in a dominant 93-74 win.
The Sharks made the final four after a close 79-78 win against the Leicester Riders. They go into Sunday off the back of a win over the Surrey Scorchers and may feel they have momentum on their side.
Despite this, The Nix go into the game with a distinct statistical advantage.
Ranking bottom in the BBL league for Points Per Game (72.8), the Sharks are struggling to score effectively this year. They also rank lowest in field goal percentage (42.9%) and three points made (29.8%).
Both teams met in the league earlier this season and the Sharks struggled offensively. An 88-73 victory for The Nix in Sheffield shows that Thomas’ team may have the Sharks number going into this tie.
Victory would take the Nix back to Glasgow to defend the trophy in the final where they’d take on the Caledonia Gladiators.