Marshall MK Lions boss, Vince Macaulay (pictured), has challenged his side to put in a massive defensive performance when they face league leaders and BBL Trophy Finalists, Newcastle Eagles, tomorrow night: 'We will need to combat all the bodies that Newcastle have, as we are shorthanded at the moment' he said: 'It is important that we control the tempo of the game' he added: 'I feel we can execute well against them, as long as we have leave our poor defence behind us which has probably cost us this term.'
His Eagles equivalent, player-coach Fabulous Flournoy, is not taking the Lions lightly either: 'This weekend will be a tough test for us. M.K are going to be ready for us this time round, and when we played them last, they were with out Frank Holmes, which is a big loss for them. When you lose a player due to injury, the coach has to find a way to work out how they will full the void. Luckily for us when we played against them, Vince (Macaulay) did not have any time to work on that. I expect MK will be ready to get back on track.'
Flournoy may baffle a few fellow play callers and fans around the league with his decision to bring leading players Joe Chapman and Charles Smith off the bench more often than not, but the New Yorker explained that this ensures he gets the best out of his players, as well as limiting the opposition's opportunities to focus on one of the Eagles many weapons. He commented: 'There is no one reason that I bring Charles and Joe off the bench. At some point in time, everyone on our team has started. Unlike most teams, where you have players that start, we have players that can start or come off the bench and it is not an issue because everyone on our team wants to win.' He also attributed much of the Eagles title success in recent years, to this, adding: 'It is one of the reasons we are so successful – because we have some many guys that can hurt you that you can not concentrate on one. Plus, unlike most of the other teams, our players are playing half the minutes everyone else is and are much more productive.'
Also taking place tomorrow night is the clash between Glasgow Rocks and Cheshire Jets, and Rocks' player-coach, Sterling Davis, is relishing the challenge of taking on the BBL Cup finalists and Trophy semi-finalists as he sweats on the fitness of explosive point guard, Rob Yanders: 'We have seen Cheshire a few times this season and each game we have been involved in with them has been a great spectator game' he said: 'Rob Yanders is still out right now and day to day on his return. That's the only major injury in our team.' He added: 'We have guys with niggling injuries but nothing to stop day-to-day participation.'
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