Rocks are ready to shrug off Sharks loss

The Herald - Sport - - RUGB8Y - MARK WOODS

RI­LEY GRABAU has in­sisted Glas­gow Rocks will not meekly roll over and play dead when they travel to hold­ers New­cas­tle Ea­gles in the quar­ter-fi­nals of the BBL Cup tonight.

The om­nipo­tent Ty­ne­side out­fit, who drubbed Ster­ling Davis’ men 84-71 in last sea­son’s fi­nal, ap­pear poised to pur­sue an­other clean sweep of all four do­mes­tic tro­phies af­ter start­ing the new cam­paign with eight straight wins.

How­ever, de­spite a grue­some league de­feat at the hands of Sh­effield Sharks last week­end that set alarm bells ring­ing, Grabau claims the Scots are pre­pared to wage a ful­some bat­tle to reach the last four.

“We have to be phys­i­cal and be tough,” the Amer­i­can point guard said. “That’s one of our mot­tos. We make mis­takes, sure, at this early stage but you can al­ways learn from a win and you al­ways learn from a loss. We’ve had to go back to the draw­ing board a bit and re-find that edge and move on.

“Ev­ery game is a chal­lenge, whether it’s the best record against the worst or two teams in the mid­dle of the pack. It’s a chal­lenge when you’re away from your own court. But we need to be pre­pared and ready for them.”

With just three vic­to­ries from their open­ing seven con­tests, Davis con­cedes con­sis­tency re­mains elu­sive with in­juries forc­ing him to ex­per­i­ment with var­i­ous com­bi­na­tions on the court.

With a chal­lenge for the league ti­tle al­ready now a long shot, de­feat in the Cup would limit his hopes of end­ing a 13-year wait for sil­ver­ware but aveng­ing their loss in last Jan­uary’s show­piece in Birm­ing­ham is far from their minds, cap­tain Kieron Achara as­serted.

“We have an en­tirely new team from last year so we won’t be us­ing last year’s de­feat as mo­ti­va­tion,” the Stir­ling-born for­ward said. “In­stead, we will fo­cus on us and striv­ing to play the ‘per­fect game’ this in turn will cause any­one we play prob­lems.”

Else­where, un­beaten Le­ices­ter Rid­ers will bid to close the gap on New­cas­tle in the Bri­tish Bas­ket­ball League with a vic­tory at strug­gling Ply­mouth Raiders while Sh­effield host Cheshire Phoenix.

FO­CUS: Rocks’ Kieron Achara

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