Rocks are ready to shrug off Sharks loss
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