Surrey Scorchers battled hard on the road on Sunday evening but were unable to prevent the Cheshire Phoenix from taking a 93-74 BBL Championship win.
Coach Raftopoulous’ side stayed hard on the tails of their hosts in a competitive battle at the Cheshire Oaks Arena, but fell short in preventing Phoenix from securing the series winner.
Quincy Taylor cancelled out and early 4-0 Cheshire lead with a pair of lay-ups against his former side, but it didn’t take long for Phoenix to build a dominating 9-0 run to put the opening quarter out of Scorchers’ reach.
Cheshire firmly held the momentum throughout Q2 until the dying moments when Taylor came up trumps again to throw down a buzzer-beating 3 point show from a turnover ball, allowing Surrey to tie the period at 19-all and hold a 9pt deficit at the midway point.
GB international Josh Steel lit up the court with a big shot from downtown to kick off Q3 and reduce the gap down to just 6 points. But again Cheshire were able to charge on and bring their lead back to double digits, holding a 72-55 advantage with one quarter left to play.
Caylin Raftopoulos opened Q4 with a brace of 3-point shots to again give Scorchers’ hope of a comeback, but the hosts’ late energy was enough to push them on for a convincing 93-74 home win.
Taylor topped the score sheet for Scorchers with 23 points, whilst Willie Atwood picked up 10 rebounds despite the loss.
Scorchers are on the road against next Saturday with a short trip to NBL division 1 outfit Worthing Thunder in the BBL Trophy (7.30pm tip-off), before making a post-Christmas trip to the Plymouth Raiders on Friday 28thDecember (7.30pm tip-off).