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BBL on the BBC: Rocks v Phoenix lowdown

Friday 30 December
Glasgow Rocks v Cheshire Phoenix (BBL Championship) 7.30pm

Summary

After a brief break for Christmas, the BBL returns to BBC screens on Friday with Glasgow Rocks against Cheshire Phoenix.

It is set to be an intriguing contest too. Phoenix come into the game off-the-back of a heart-breaking loss against DBL Sharks Sheffield before Christmas and are without a permanent coach.

Colin O’Reilly’s short tenure ended earlier this month and general manager James Brice took charge against Sharks, and will likely be in the hot seat again, with a new appointment not expected until the New Year.

Rocks recovered from having their 12-game winning run ended against Surrey Scorchers by beating Manchester Giants last time out and will be keen to rebuild that positive momentum as they move forward to next month’s BBL Cup Final.

Word from the Rocks:

Rocks forward Lewis Thomas: “It’s a big game for us. They run the floor pretty well. They have some really good individual players. Obviously we managed to go down there and get a win but it’s going to be tough back home, so we’re going to have to play well.”

View from the commentary box:

BBL commentator Dan Routledge: “Obviously we don’t know what is happening with the Cheshire coaching situation as yet, will they have someone in in time for this game or does James Brice carry on as the interim?

“Nix should feel pretty good about themselves after the last outing against Sheffield. The position they were in with 30 seconds to go, they should have won the game against a good Sharks team. They tied their season-high 11 three-pointers in that game, at 40%, and they seem to be a team that needs to shoot well from behind the arc to be in the game.

“In the previous meeting at home to Glasgow they were only 4-for-19, which was their worst shooting night from behind the arc of the season, and they were beaten by 20.

“Glasgow are obviously one of the best squads in the League and they’re at home, where they haven’t been beaten since the beginning of October, so they’ll clearly be favourites, but if Cheshire get things right on the night, they have enough to pull off an upset.”

Three points:

* Phoenix guard Josh Wilcher needs 11 more points to reach 1,000 in BBL Championship play
* Only Manchester Giants concede more points-per-game than Phoenix, while only Leicester Riders give up fewer than Rocks
* Phoenix have won six of the last nine meetings between these teams

Next time on BBC Sport:

Friday 06 January 2017
Worcester Wolves v DBL Sharks Sheffield