Force target back-to-back home wins

Matt Newby.
Matt Newby.
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Leeds Force return to the court tomorrow as they welcome the Cheshire Phoenix to the Carnegie Sports Arena in week two of the BBL season.

The Force got off to a great start last weekend as they beat local rivals Sheffield Sharks 79-58 to record their first win against the Sheffield side.

Jack Isenbarger was the stand out performer for the Force scoring 28 points in the game, 14 of which came in the last 10 minutes.

Attention now turns to the Phoenix who edged the series against the Force last season and were also the team that knocked Leeds out the cup.

Cheshire finished a place above the Force in the league last year and both franchises will be battling it out to finish higher in the table.

With confidence flowing through the side, Leeds will believe they can come away with another victory in front of their home fans and pick up maximum points from the first two weeks of the season.

Cheshire come into the game on the back of two defeats in the opening weekend but will be looking to pick up their first two points against the Force.

Phoenix lost narrowly to the Worcester Wolves 88-85 and ran the Newcastle Eagles all the way, losing 99-85.

Coach Newby is fully aware of the danger the Phoenix pose after losing a pre-season friendly to the Phoenix.

Newby said: “We know the dangers they can pose, they have strengthened well in the off-season. Josh Wilcher is a great addition to their roster.

“The confidence the win last week gave us was fantastic and we need maintain that level of performance.

“We need to concentrate on ourselves.

“The boys have been training really well this week so it’s going to be a good game.”

Newby started three of his new signings against the Sharks and was content with the way they gelled so quickly.

“They played fantastically together on the court,” he added. “There were a few things we need to work on but it’s still a very new and young team.”

Doncaster-born forward Rob Marsden is just two points away from scoring 1,000 points in the BBL.

After scoring 12 against the Sharks he should make it to the landmark against the Phoenix.

He admitted after the win against Sheffield he was aware of the record but it didn’t cross his mind as he was taken off with two minutes to go. Marsden said: “Someone told me in the week about it but I was more worried about the result than my personal achievements.”

Armand Anebo will still be on the sidelines as he recovers from knee surgery and Oliver Hylands is a doubt for the game after missing the opening weekend.

The Force go on the road in the BBL Cup after they take on Cheshire, they will want to ensure their go into the game against the Glasgow Rocks in fine form.