As the Everton Tigers and the Guildford Heat meet at the Greenbank Sports Academy tonight, the head to head record between these teams in the Championship is already at stake. Tigers boss Tony Garbelotto had praise for the work of new Heat player- coach Chad McKnight, and feels that his side will be better prepared at home to take on the Heat. The Tigers avenged the 82-74 loss against the Heat earlier this season, which put them into third spot, with an 85-79 win on 11th October at Liverpool's Echo Arena. The Heat hold the all-time record at 5-4, and Garbelotto said the following on this important game: 'I am so impressed by what Chad has done with this group of players. In the last game at their place they just had more will and desire to win down the stretch, but I expect another tough game against them.'
The Team GB Assistant Coach also stressed the fact that the game is a must-win for his side. He added: 'It is a must win game for us, as crazy as this sounds, as we will have the season head to head win count against them if we win tomorrow. At present, we seem to be more controlled at home than on the road and I hope that this will continue on Friday.'
Tonight's second BBL Championship game is between the Sheffield Sharks and the Cheshire Jets. They have already met this season, a 79-62 Sharks victory being the result, and the last time the Jets beat the Sharks was back in November 2008, via an 86-82 win at the Northgate Arena, the Jets' home court.
The Sharks travel to Newcastle tomorrow to take on the Newcastle Eagles, and both teams have recently suffered defeats, with the Sharks losing in overtime 98-89 to the Marshall MK Lions. The Eagles are no strangers to defeats in overtime this season though though, as they went down earlier in the season to Guildford Heat 102-98, and then last week lost to the Airwaves Plymouth Raiders, who picked up their first league win with a 96-95 victory.
After facing each other tonight, the Heat and the Tigers will be in action again on Sunday, as the Heat travel to Glasgow whilst the Tigers look for a win at in-form Plymouth. Like Tony Garbelotto, Rocks player-coach Sterling Davis is clearly impressed with the work of Chad McKnight in his rookie season as a BBL coach: 'Guildford are playing really good basketball right now as indicative of their record' he said: 'I think they have a balance of new players and veteran leaders in the likes of Julius Joseph and Mike Martin. Chad McKnight is doing a great job in his first season' he added.
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