Surrey Scorchers welcome BBL leaders London Lions back to Surrey Sports Park this Sunday, hoping to create a little bit of history of their own!
Tip-off is 2pm – get your tickets here
Last Friday’s epic quadruple overtime defeat to Worcester Wolves went into the record books for the most ever points in a BBL fixture, as both sides beat the previous record for highest team tally in a single game – and Scorchers now look to earn a first victory against the Lions since New Year’s Day 2018.
“It was a special night, and I’m sure anybody who attended the game will talk about it for a long time,” admitted Creon Raftopolous, of the 302-point, 60-minute thriller in Worcestershire. “It was unfortunate for us to be on the wrong side of the result, but once again little things, that we have ourselves to blame for, hurt us. We missed 14 free throws,” he suggested, as an example. “But that’s part and parcel of how the season has gone, and we just haven’t had those breaks.”
Yet there must have been times where Creon thought Scorchers had done enough to take the W? “We played as hard as we possibly could and towards the end of regulation time I felt we were in a perfect position to win the game. A couple of unexpected turnovers allowed them to get back into the game, but I think the way we fought to force it to a fourth (overtime), I honestly felt that it was our night.”
That spirit will, of course, be crucial in once again pushing Lions all the way this weekend after Scorchers competed for long periods in their first visit to the Sports Park arena two weeks ago. “We played them pretty good the last time,” remembers Creon, “but once again their experience showed in the fourth quarter. We need to start a lot better than we did then, and not put ourselves in a hole.
“We’re playing for pride, and we plan to give our fans something to scream about to thank them for their support. But it’s going to be a tough one, as I think Lions want to try and wrap up the league as quick as possible, with Leicester and Newcastle creeping up behind them.”
With just five games remaining of a tough season, Creon admits: “This year feels like it’s been three or four seasons in one for me, with the changes that have taken place. But sometimes it’s your year and sometimes it’s not. Last year we couldn’t lose a game at home, and this year we’re just trying to win any game that we can.”
However, he feels that the strength of his current roster augurs well for a brighter future. “From a chemistry point of view, we’re definitely a lot better,” he suggests. “The group right now is a little bit more balanced, and we’ve got different people stepping up at different times, which is a positive. So hopefully we can put together a good team performance against the Lions.”
We are also supporting the Eagle Radio Easter Egg Appeal this Sunday, and ask supporters to bring along a chocolate egg to help give local disadvantaged children a happier Easter – click here for full details