Durham Next On Agenda For Lions
Lions will undertake their fifth game in three weeks when they welcome Durham to Eston Leisure Centre this Sunday.
Durham are a former BBL side and currently compete in the elite BUCS league with a very strong team of international players. The coach is a former NBL Coach of the year in Ian Hewitt and the game will provide a similar test to the Newcastle encounter at the Weekend Tournament two weeks ago.
In that game Lions were dealt a sucker punch as they tried to get to grips after a 15 month absence due to Covid Lockdown. Newcastle were an incredible team with free flowing basketball, slick movement and accurate shooters that rained in 3-pointers. A 30pt loss was a hard pill for Lions to swallow, especially on the debut of Great Britain Coach Marc Steutel.
This though may have been a vital wake up call and a reminder that there is a job at hand and work to do.
Improvements over the last two weeks are clearly visible with Teesside beating St Mirren, significant enhancements at training and topped off with a remarkable performance against Division One outfit Derby Trailblazers in a game Lions were silently expecting a bruising encounter.
Lions Chairman and Assistant Coach James Thomson suggested this week’s training has signalled a statement of intent within the squad: “Behind the scenes, we were not ready to play a Division One team and I was a little concerned about it being counter-productive as a game and also as an event. We had picked up some injuries and are still putting the finishing touches to the squad, so the game was possibly a week or two earlier than we would have liked. Having said that, there was an air of determination at training with everyone raising their level. Still, I would not have expected us to come so close to beating Derby and all credit to the hard work of Coach Steutel and the players.”
On the injury front Tommy Devitt and Gregory MacMillan are set to return to training this week. Jack Wilson will face a late test and new additions Kwame Sellick-Cole and Jack Beresford are two weeks away from full fitness.
The real test will now be against Durham and whether Lions can maintain the level they are beginning to show. Durham will have a balanced team with strong shooters, creative attackers and determined defenders. One player known to basketball fans in the area is American guard Chris Jones. Little is known about their new recruits, but an exciting game for the fans is assured and if Lions continue their progress a victory is a realistic objective.
Teesside Lions v Durham Wildcats
Sunday 19th September 2pm Tip
– Doors open 1pm with music, snacks and entertainment.
– Spectators must be seated 30mins prior to tip
– Adult £6.50
– U18 & OAP £4.50
– Family £16 (2 adults & 2 u18)
Tickets must be purchased in advance to allow the club to cater for the attendance in accordance with venue & government covid guidelines.