MK Lions and Durham Wildcats meet for the first time ever on Friday evening, and both sides will be looking to move up the BBL Championship table.
Last week’s 99-82 victory in front of the Sky TV cameras saw Lions move up to joint eighth with a 2-4 record, while a pair of defeats last weekend saw Wildcats drop to tenth in the table with one win from seven games.
With Wildcats making the step up to the BBL this season, the two sides have never played each other before, but Lions’ coach Mike New is expecting Dave Elderkin’s side to provide a tough test for his team.
New said: “I haven’t had a chance to see Wildcats yet this season but I know that they shoot the three [pointer] very well as a team. Particularly Fred Hinnenkamp and Mike Capocci [pictured right], but also they like to try and control tempo and play at a pace different than the pace that we play at.
“Durham have five players that average double figures, that is a well balanced attack. Ralph Bucci is the engine that makes them go, Mario Flaherty and Mike Capoci are outstanding players for them as well.”
Wildcats’ coach Elderkin was impressed with what he saw when he watched Lions’ TV victory against Worcester.
He said: “I saw Lions play on Tyneside against the Eagles, to be fair they had a real go, and I also watched a comprehensive win on Sky over the Wolves.
“They have plenty of height and athleticism, and Demarius Bolds seems a strong scorer.”