Cheshire Phoenix coach hails attitude of his side after comeback win over London Lions

Reporter:

Daniel Heald

CHESHIRE PHOENIX coach Ben Thomas praised the ‘never say die attitude’ of his side following their incredible 78-71 comeback victory against London Lions.

Trailing for the majority of the contest, the Nix found an extra gear in the final period as they started the fourth quarter with a sensational 20-6 run.

The hosts had been down by as many as 20 points but rallied late on to seal an improbable victory.

Seemingly out of the contest, Cheshire turned the game on its head in the fourth quarter, exploding out of the gates to seize the momentum and outscore the Lions over the final 10 minutes.

The home side only managed to net 46 points in the first three quarters combined, but Cheshire found their rhythm to pour in 32  points in the final period.

Malcolm Riley top scored for Cheshire with 24 points, while C.J. Gettys’  20 point, 12 rebound double-double provided the backbone to Phoenix's victory.

The centre’s efficient point scoring ratio saw him connect on nine of his 13 shots.

Thomas said: “For the first two and a half quarters it wasn’t the prettiest of games from our point of view.

“Having been behind for so for so long in the game I was really pleased with the character we showed and the never say die attitude which ultimately won us the match.

“Things weren’t going our way and we knew we had to change things around in terms of our approach to the game.

“There was no individual to blame at any point, it was more of a collective issue in terms of our approach.

“But we stayed composed and we switched things around during a timeout midway through the third quarter.

“It hadn’t been good enough from us up to that point and we had to impose ourselves more on the game.

“We went to a different offence which proved to be much more effective in terms of getting ourselves back into the game.”

Thomas believes the manner of his side’s victory offered further proof of how fragile winning margins can be in BBL Championship games.

“Even though we were pretty far behind in the game we’ve seen already this season how quickly leads can disappear” he added.

“Against Surrey a few weeks ago we almost threw away a big points advantage and that showed us just how easily results can get away from you.

“So it was great to turn the game in our favour against a strong Lions side in front of our home fans.

“I think our supporters saw what we were trying to do and really got behind us in the final quarter, which was a huge help.”

Championship leaders Newcastle Eagles were 101-96 victors against, Sheffield Sharks won 86-70 at home to Bristol Flyers, while Glasgow Rocks registered a third successive victory by trouncing basement side Manchester Giants 118-62.

Surrey Scorchers progressed in the BBL Cup with a 74-71 home win over Plymouth Raiders.

Email:

daniel.heald@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

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