COVENTRY CRUSADERS VS LONDON LEOPARDS
Venue: Coventry Sports & Leisure Centre, Fairfax Street, Coventry.
When: Saturday 22nd January 2011
Tip Off: 7:30pm
Competition: National League Division One
By Adam Manning
Crusaders head coach Roger Payne has laid down the gauntlet to his fringe players ahead of Coventry’s home match versus London Leopards tonight at the Coventry Sports & Leisure Centre, tip-off 7:30pm.
The team’s inability to secure victory from a leading position late on in the last three games against Reading, Leeds and London Capitals has prompted coach Payne to rethink his team selection.
And the head coach’s patience finally wore out last weekend as Crusaders threw away victory in the capital as they missed seven unchallenged lay-ups to keep them rooted to the bottom of National League Division One.
“Even if you put yourself in a position to win the game you still have to execute in the final minutes. We missed seven uncontested lay-ups, that’s 14 points and a game right there.”
Looking ahead to this Saturday’s game against seventh place Leopards, Payne added:
“We’ve put a lot of pressure on our starters and men coming off the bench. I think for the likes of Simon Payne, Dave Edden and Jack McDonald it will be their time to shine, because we need to find other ways of getting wins.”
“Those guys will play a pivotal role this weekend and I’m looking forward to throwing them into the deep end.”
Point guard Robin Hall also echoed his coach’s message that the players must forget about the run that they're on and start relaxing around each other in order to get off the bottom of the National League Division One table.
"We've got to plug together as a team because it's a tough time at the moment. It's not fun for anyone to be losing but we've got to get that enjoyment back into our games and trust in each other. Whoever goes on the court has got to give 100 per cent whether they're on for two minutes of the whole game."
The only absentee for the game is 7 ft centre Rob Clarke who is still struggling with a knee injury.
Tickets are £2 for adults and £1 for children, OAPS and students.
Crusaders squad expected to face PAWS London Capitals: 4 Michael Gayle (captain); 5 Jack McDonald; 6 Leigh Cascoe; 7 Roy Owen; 8 Siman Stewart; 9 Damilola Fakunle; 10 Simon Payne; 11 Robin Hall; 12 Casey Crawford; 13 Pierre Henry-Fontaine; 20 Dave Edden; Louie Romero; Louis Young; Alex Banfield; Daniel Belgrave.