This weekend will see the completion of the first round of the BBL Cup.
With London Lions having already booked their spot alongside Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders, Newcastle Eagles, Worcester Wolves and UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders who received first round byes, six clubs will battle it out for the last three remaining quarter-final spots.
Mersey Tigers face Surrey Heat at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park but won't exactly be favourites to progress after having been soundly beaten by the Heat in their first game of the season.
They have at least drafted in some reinforcements, so perhaps the result is not as predictable as it looks on paper and after all, the Cup just loves to shock and spring occasional surprises.
Another team struggling to find a way to win this season is One Health Sharks Sheffield who of course won the competition a couple of seasons ago and they host Cheshire Jets with head coach Atiba Lyons (pictured) looking for his players improve on some critical fundamentals.
"The Jets will be a tough team for us," admitted Lyons.
"We have struggled so far this season taking care of the ball and rebounding so that is our focus this game.
"We need the mind-set to limit easy transition points and turnovers for scores."
Glasgow Rocks meanwhile step out at the Emirates Arena for a second time but searching for not only a place in the last eight of the BBL Cup, but also a first success at their new home having crashed to the Eagles last Sunday after a horrific final ten minutes.
They face a Manchester Giants team who started the season in buoyant fashion before the honeymoon came to a shuddering halt and was replaced by a worrying three game losing streak which Jeff Jones and his team will do well to end when they cross the border.
In another packed weekend of non-stop action, it's not just the BBL Cup which sees court time since there are also a number of intriguing BBL Championship fixtures too - including the north-east derby.
Newcastle Eagles are flying high as expected after a flawless start to the new campaign and they host a Durham Wildcats team at Sport Central tonight who can't, and surely won't, be taken for granted by the high fliers.
Especially since Dave Elderkin and his players have already chalked up a win at Worcester Wolves and then came within a whisker of a subsequent road victory when they were only just edged out by London Lions.
Coach Elderkin has pin-pointed Charles Smith as the main danger although also gave an insight into just how hard it will be to shackle the free-scoring Eagles' forward.
"They used to say Larry Bird only needed half an inch to get a shot off and Charles is not quite there, but it's probably no more than an inch," smiled Elderkin.
"He just uses his body really well to create his own shot out of nothing.
Also riding high along with the Eagles are unbeaten Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders who host London Lions whilst Surrey Heat who has only one loss to their name so far will go up against One Health Sharks Sheffield on their home floor, having already picked up a comprehensive road victory against the Yorkshire club.
Finally, Worcester Wolves probably didn't expect themselves to be sat with a 1-3 record after four games but they can go a long way to improving their situation this weekend since they have two league games where they will be targeting maximum points.
They host Mersey Tigers tomorrow night and then make the trip to Northgate Arena on Sunday to match-up with Cheshire Jets.
Glasgow Rocks (BBL) agreed terms with 25-year old American point guard Neil Watson (180-73kg-91, college: S.Mississippi) from Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders. In 33 BBL games in United Kingdom he had 14.6ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.6apg and 1.6spg (in top 5) last season. He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. They also played in the Cup final. Quite impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-British BBL 1st Team and All-Imports Team. Watson was voted Kansas C... [read more]
Glasgow Rocks (BBL) agreed terms with 25-year old American point guard Neil Watson (180-73kg-91, college: S.Mississippi) from Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders. In 33 BBL games in United Kingdom he had 14.6ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.6apg and 1.6spg (in top 5) last season. He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. They also played in the Cup final. Quite impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-British BBL 1st Team and All-Imports Team. Watson was voted Kansas City Kansan's 4A Player of the Year back in 2009 at his college time. Watson graduated from University of Southern Mississippi in 2014 and it is his third season as a professional player.
The Pacers and Nuggets will play a regular-season game in London - 1 day ago
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This season's NBA Global Games slate will once again feature a regular-season contest in London, with the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets getting tapped to head across the pond and square off at O2 Arena on Jan. 12, 2017. 'We are thrilled to return for our seventh regular-season game in London,' NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. 'With almost 25 percent of players in the NBA born outside of the United States, we are seeing firsthand the global growth of our game, which ha... [read more]
This season's NBA Global Games slate will once again feature a regular-season contest in London, with the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets getting tapped to head across the pond and square off at O2 Arena on Jan. 12, 2017. 'We are thrilled to return for our seventh regular-season game in London,' NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. 'With almost 25 percent of players in the NBA born outside of the United States, we are seeing firsthand the global growth of our game, which has never been more popular in the U.K.' While Indiana has played preseason contests in China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Germany and Spain, this marks the first time that the Pacers have headed overseas for regular-season duty and, as it happens, they'll be following in the footsteps of their NFL counterpart, the Indianapolis Colts, who'll take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in October. The chance to watch Paul George (6'9''-G/F-90, college: Fresno St.), one of the stars of the U.S. men's national basketball team heavily favored to win gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next month, figures to be one of the signature draws for the London audience. It's the Nuggets' roster, though, that features plenty of European flair, led by Italian scorer Danilo Gallinari, a pair of talented Southeastern European centers in Serbia's Nikola Jokic and Bosnia's Jusuf Nurkic (7'0''-C-94), and Frenchmen Joffrey Lauvergne (6'11''-PF-91, agency: BeoBasket) and Axel Toupane (6'6''-G/F-92, agency: Comsport). Denver also features talented young guards Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris and 2016 first-round pick Jamal Murray, as well as power forward Kenneth Faried (6'8''-F-89, college: Morehead St.), who won gold as a member of Team USA at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. 'It will be a true honor and a great experience to represent both the Nuggets and the NBA in London as part of the NBA Global Games in 2017,' Gallinari said in a statement. 'Our entire team and organization are looking forward to this opportunity to showcase our league to fans overseas.' This will be the NBA's seventh regular-season game in London. Last year's edition saw the Toronto Raptors knock off the Orlando Magic; games from earlier years have featured the New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons, making the Nuggets the first Western Conference team ever to make the trip for a 'home' game far, far away from home. The 2017 Global Games calendar will also once again include a return to Mexico City. The Phoenix Suns will play 'host' to both the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs in mid-January, marking the first time ever that the NBA has played two regular-season games in Mexico. Courtesy of: yahoo.com
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