Bristol V Lions
Bristol overcame Bognor GSD in their 1st round playoff game with an impressive 45pt margin to set up the quarter final clash with Teesside Lions.
Bognor play in the same South West league as Bristol and finished as runners-up to their counterparts in the regular season. This however was their heaviest of three defeats. The lowest margin was 14pts in which Bristol star Chris Taylor hit a season high 44pts.
Chris Taylor is one of three key featured players for Bristol, each capable of hitting 20+ points per game. Aiden Khan is a right handed guard who likes to dribble. He can find a pass and has good drive along with shooting ability if not denied. Khan hit 23pts against Bognor on Saturday.
Andrew Hambleton is a small forward with a nice touch. He is capable of multiple scoring streaks within games. He favours the perimeter shot but also has the ability to drive through traffic. One weakness is his temperament, and it remains to be seen as to whether he will feature against Teesside due to a possible suspension.
Shooting Guard; Chris Taylor is the go-to player and leader of the team. He holds a high-level basketball IQ and is a strong rebounder. His biggest asset is his shot and he is renowned for finding his opportunities in the half court as well as transition. Taylor hit 14pts on Saturday but is capable of many more as the season has shown.
Bristol hold home court advantage and average 81ppg which reflects the free flowing approach the team have. Transition is an area they look to exploit and with a 12 win & 1 loss regular season record they are used to winning in a league where they have not faced too many challenges.
Teesside will be their toughest test and it remains to be seen how they will respond. With multiple technical fouls this season, they could implode. Teesside will look to contain the Bristol transition and command the rebounds at both ends of the court.
Lions are currently sweating on the availability of Alex Root (ankle) and Ross Wilson (hamstring) ahead of the weekend trip but look strong, confident and hungry for this game with an otherwise full squad available to select.
Theo Turner will be key for the Lions. The 7-foot captain has a reassuring presence on the floor and dominates rebounds. His size is enough to change shots and this can disrupt the opposition’s ability to find rhythm, as Wolves discovered in the previous game.
Matt Hughes will be another key, especially as he and Anthony Reed enjoyed productive displays against Wolves. Teesside have an abundance of ability with Thomas Wylie, Siman Stewart, Jack Wilson & Carl Alexander all capable of 20+ points and Teesside as a team one of the best defensive teams in the country.
Lions will travel to Bristol with quiet confidence in their ability to win, but with the knowledge that players will have to stay on task and work hard to ensure the return journey is a joyous one.
The game is forecast as a 6.30pm tip in Bristol at the UWE Centre for Sport on Saturday.