Surrey’s premier basketball side face two key fixtures as they push for a playoff place. Dan Fox reports.Surrey Scorchers face a crucial weekend if they are to maintain their hopes of a top-half finish in the British Basketball League.
They face an away trip to Bristol Flyers on Friday evening before a home tie against Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday.
Both sides sit directly below the Scorchers in the current league standings – but the Guildford side will be confident of picking up at least another victory.
The Surrey outfit have won three of their last four league games, which includes a 109-88 victory over second-bottom side Manchester Giants last week.
Creon Raftopoulis’s side also have a 100% home record in 2018, seeing off Plymouth Raiders, London Lions, Leeds Force and Glasgow Rocks in the process, something they will hope to replicate on the road.
Flyers come into Friday’s game in indifferent form, having won three and lost three of their past six games, although they have won their last two in succession.
The home side will hope to continue their good form on their own patch, with their last three victories all coming at The WISE Arena.
Both sides come into the game having won six matches each against each other since their first meeting back in 2014, when the Scorchers triumphed 91:75.
The last meeting in November of last year saw the Flyers win by a solitary point, as they overcame the Scorchers 86:85 at Surrey Sports Park, with both sides earning two victories apiece in their last four meetings.
Scorchers will hope to move away from the bottom half and move above Worcester Wolves and London Lions with a victory, with all three sides currently on 22 points.
Turning to Sunday, Cheshire come into the fixture having lost three of their last four, which includes two consecutive home losses to Sheffield Sharks and Leicester Riders, although they did record an impressive 100-83 victory away at Newcastle Eagles.
Should Scorchers succeed on Friday, the tie with Phoenix would be a perfect opportunity to cement a place in the top eight.
Cheshire do have a slight upper hand in terms of the overall head-to-head record, having triumphed on 19 occasions, whilst Surrey have come out on top 16 times against Sundays opponents.
Scorchers also won the first ever meeting 90:72 in 2006, whilst the last meeting in October 2017 saw the Phoenix scrape an 82:80 victory at the Cheshire Oaks Arena.
The visitors currently sit six points above Plymouth Raiders and a win would further bolster their place above the bottom three.
However, Scorchers have won three of the past four encounters between the two sides, which suggests Cheshire will have to be at their best to come away victorious.
With two crucial clashes coming up as part of an already congested fixture list, the business end of the season is fast approaching for the Scorchers.