Rob Marsden is looking for a whitewash against his former team when the Leeds Force take on the Manchester Giants tonight, writes ARIF AHMED.
The Force return to the court at the Carnegie Sports Arena having had a week’s break and are wanting to put some daylight between themselves and the bottom side.
Leeds have already faced off with the Giants twice this season, picking up two wins and securing the series.
But, despite it being a side he once played for, Marsden doesn’t see it as a big thing playing against Manchester.
“My time there was really good, I met some good people,” he said.
“But I’m a Leeds player and my job is to win games for them against every team, even Manchester.
“I have played against them quite a lot now so I try and prepare just like any other game. It’s nice to see some familiar faces but the job is always the same.”
It will be the first time the Giants will cross the Pennines this season as both previous games have been played in Manchester. In the first game Rob Sandoval was the star man putting up 26 points, two rebounds and seven assists. The American’s scoring along with his team-mates led Leeds to put up their first 100-plus points of the season.
That is the type of performance Marsden would like to give to the home fans tonight. It’s a great feeling when you can put up them type of points,” said Marsen. “The whole team was on a high that day. Hopefully we can enjoy that with the fans this week.”
The guard also put up strong stats that night putting up 23 points, nine rebounds and two assists, a game he thinks has been one of his best this campaign.
“It was a good game for me. I think I put up some good numbers that helped the team. A double double would have been nice, but that’s me being a bit greedy!”
Force restored bragging rights in the second rose derby, piping the Giants by 10 points.
That night it was the Geordie guard, Eddie Matthew, who stole the show, putting up an impressive 14 points as he sank three triples in a row.
That kind of form from the youngster didn’t surprise Marsden who knows all too well just how good Matthew can be from beyond the arc.
“He is an incredible three-point shooter,” enthused Marsden. “The whole roster knows that, so for him to do that in that game was no surprise to any of us.”
A win for Force would put them eight points clear of Giants with just five games left in the season.
Having a week with no game has recharged some of the players’ batteries and they are ready for a final push to the end of the season.