Guildford Heat’s Creon Raftopoulos has praised Newcastle Eagles coach Fab Flournoy for the job he has done at the BBL leaders this season.
The Eagles may well have lost to Glasgow Rocks at the weekend, but this was only their third loss of the campaign and Raftopoulos believes that Flournoy deserves a lot of credit.
The Guildford coach told bblfans.com: “The job that Fab has done is absolutely amazing. He’s done extremely well bringing [Andrew] Thomson into the team and Paul Gause has turned into a great player also.”
“If you look at their record, they have only lost a couple of games all season which is an amazing achievement. I don’t think you can look anywhere else other than the Newcastle Eagles as the team to beat.”
Raftopoulos isn’t ruling out his own team’s chances though, saying that his team need three more wins to confirm their play-off spot. Then, it is all to play for.
“Overall, I think we need three wins to guarantee ourselves a good play-off spot and that is what we are going to try and do. We need those three wins as soon as possible. The first thing is getting into the play-offs and there after I like our chances.”
“I think we are one of the teams that nobody will want to play as we seem to be getting stronger and stronger towards the end of the season.”
Guildford did suffer a setback at the weekend though, going down 75-80 at Cheshire Jets on Sunday evening. This defeat means that Raftopoulos’ men remain 7th in the table, but the pressure is well and truly on in the next few games.
Three of Guildford’s remaining five games are on the road too and Raftopoulos is aware that this makes things even more difficult.
Looking ahead to the remainder of the campaign, he continued: “It is very tough to pick up wins on the road, everybody knows that. Aside from the fact we are away from home a fair amount, we have four games against the four top teams.”
This run begins with an away game to Worcester Wolves on Saturday evening. This trip to the 2nd placed team in the BBL will be a difficult one for Guildford, but they will be determined to bounce back from the defeat at the weekend.
Heat then host the Plymouth Raiders on Sunday afternoon as we reach the business end of the BBL campaign.