Weekend double-headers don’t come much tougher than the one facing London Lions.
Nigel Lloyd’s men are within touching distance of a BBL Cup Semi-Final tie against Esh Group Eagles Newcastle, but must overcome the undefeated Leicester Riders on the road this Saturday, if they are to advance.
The capital club will follow that knockout fight with a second Esh Group Eagles Newcastle meeting of the season back home on Sunday.
Lions are the only club to have beaten Eagles this term, meaning Fab Flournoy’s men will have payback on their minds – and Lloyd is under no illusions as to how difficult a couple of days it will be.
He said: “I don’t think anyone in the league has a test this hard, this early in the season.
“We’re talking about a Quarter-Final against a team that hasn’t lost a game all season, at their place, in Leicester Riders.
“Then we have got to try and put that game to bed and less than 24 hours later, we have to play a Newcastle team that have only lost one game. Yes, it was against us, but they’ve beaten everybody they’ve faced on the road.
“If play the best basketball we can, we’ll take that and live with the results.”
Results have not been going the way of Manchester Giants so far this season.
Yorick Williams’ young squad continue their search for a first win when they host Surrey Scorchers on Sunday.
Callum Jones has carried much of the load for Giants this term, but feels the arrivals of Sam Toluwase and Moritz Lanegger are a step in the right direction.
“We are looking at ways to have consistent threats and options from all five players on the court throughout the team offensively,” said Jones, “So spreading the scoring more evenly but primarily understanding rotations on defence as well as how our principles are adapted to different personnel on other teams in a game situation.
“Honestly, I would say a lot of the guys are frustrated but keen to turn things around.
“With a couple additions recently joining the team we have some more experience and ability now so we are working to utilise that effectively to start getting some positive results.”
Glasgow Rocks will aim to continue their run of positive results in the BBL Cup when they take on DBL Sharks Sheffield tonight.
But they can expect to come up against a different Sharks side to the one they brushed aside back in October, with Atiba Lyons’ men also in action against Scorchers on Saturday.
Elsewhere tonight, Esh Group Eagles Newcastle will limber up for their London rematch with a home tie against Bristol Flyers.
Then, on Sunday, Worcester Wolves get the opportunity to bounce back from their Cup exit at the hands of Surrey, renewing their rivalry with Glasgow Rocks at University of Worcester Arena.