Scorchers face London City Royals for the second consecutive weekend this Saturday, as we look to exact immediate revenge for BBL All-Stars defeat.
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Royals are currently the only team with a 100% record in this season’s BBL Cup, earning a fourth win in a row with a 67-65 road victory against Worcester Wolves last Friday. Their two previous W’s had been more comprehensive – 92-77 against London Lions and 84-57 versus Bristol Flyers – after starting the season with a narrow 89-87 win in Plymouth.
Woking-born Team GB Guard Andrew Lawrence leads the Royals in both assists and points – averaging 8.7 and 19.3, respectively – since signing from Italians Latina Basket, but it is the Lithuanian Lavrinovic twins, Darjus and Ksistof, who have understandably grabbed the biggest headlines in SE19.
The decorated 39-year-olds, the tallest twin brothers in the world, have been joined at the Royals by two further GB internationals, Will Saunders and Will Neighbour, plus American Guard Matt Scott, former London Lion Abraham Ekperuoh, ex-GB Under 20 international Obi Agu, and returning quartet, Orlan Jackman, Kyle Carey, Ed Lucas and former Scorcher Elvisi Dusha.
“We are an undersized team that wants to play up-tempo,” admitted Creon on the challenge posed by the 6ft 11 Lithuanians, “so we need to make sure that we execute our gameplan. Playing against guys that have played at the highest level is always going to be a challenge.”
Royals took the head-to-head series by two games to one last season, with the Scorchers taking a 93-91 victory on New Year’s Day. Yet, despite their polarised records in the early stages of 2019-20, Scorchers lead the Royals in both field goal and three-point shooting accuracy.
“It’s going to be a tough game but I feel that we’re going to be competitive and give them a good game, especially with our home fans,” highlighted Creon. “Our fans always turn up and are always loud. I’m sure there will also be a Lithuanian contingent too, so it will make for an amazing atmosphere. For us, it’s about playing our style of basketball, and we’ve got to go full out – play smart and play hard.”