DURHAM WILDCATS coach Lee Davie has followed the lead of NBA star Kobe Bryant by calling for his team to come out fighting - and wearing ‘bigboy pants’, following a disappointing defeat.
Bryant famously called out Los Angeles Lakers team-mate Pau Gasol with the line last season, and now Davie is looking for a reaction to Durham’s loss against Manchester Giants on Sunday, when his team take on Esh Group Eagles Newcastle this weekend.
“I was really disappointed with the way we played on Sunday,” said Davie.
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“With the implications of the game and Manchester being without David Aliu. I thought Manchester just wanted the game more and beat us worse than the scoreline suggested.
“It’s time for every single member of our team to put their big-boy pants on and fight for our overall goal as a team this year, which was to make the play-offs.”
Wildcats are on course to hit that target, sitting in seventh position.
Davie’s men are just four points ahead of tenth-placed Glasgow Rocks however, and face a formidable foe on Sunday in the league leaders.
“Newcastle have hit their stride, as they do at this time of year,” Davie added.
“Scott Martin has been solid all year long at both ends of the floor. Malik Cooke looks like he’s in a good rhythm and doing more off the dribble.
Paul Gause has come up big for them of late. Charles Smith is always threat inside and outside.
“Everyone on our team will be guarding a good player out there on Sunday.”
Sunday could also be a special day for Eagles playercoach Fab Flournoy. He is set to reach 550 BBL games, just the second coach to hit that number, and also to become the first player to play 550 Championship games.
James Jones scored 28 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out seven assists as Manchester Giants returned to winning ways in the BBL Championship and climbed to the ninth spot in the standings after claiming a 90-78 victory against the visiting Wildcats on Sunday.
Although it took nearly three minutes for Manchester to score the first bucket, Giants still managed to score 28 points in the opening quarter and built a double-digit advantage.
After a dominant defensive display by Giants in the first half, Wildcats found themselves with a 47-30 deficit at the half-time break. The hosts led the rest of the way and cruised to an easy win, despite allowing Durham to get within eight points in the final quarter.
Tickets for the Eagles game are available from godurhamwildcats.com