guildford Heat will be a different team on Friday to the whipping boys that Sheffield Sharks faced earlier in the season, according to their coach Creon Raftopoulos.
The Sharks won 86-75 win at Surrey Sports Park in October but Raftopoulos thinks it will not be relevant later this week: “We’re a new team playing better basketball so our first meeting will count for nothing.
“At the turn of the year we set ourselves some new team goals and if we reach them in each game it should be good enough to get us the win.
“In our last two games we have missed a combined 30 plus free throws and still got wins so I know we will improve on that aspect of our game.”
However, Raftopoulos expects his team to be tested at the EIS: “Atiba (Lyons, Sharks player-coach) has team of experienced players all capable of having a big game and putting up game winning numbers.
“Atiba has recruited real well but it’s not easy for any coach to instil your style of play after losing four impressive starters in (Ryon) Patton, (Paul) Williams, (Steve) Dagastino and (Marcus) Stout. I know the more time they are together the better they will get.
“In Jimmy Langhurst, Nate Reinking, Justin Dobbins, Mike Tuck and Olu Babaloa the Sharks have a starting five to compete with the best in our league and you add Atiba and young players Colin Sing and Zac Gachette they have a good eight man rotation.
“Langhurst leads the league in three point percentage and has settled into the BBL real well. Dobbins is having a good season scoring, rebounding and blocking shots. For me controlling Reinking’s productivity will be key to us getting a huge road win.”