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Crusaders Hope To Scalp Mohawks

Coventry Crusaders head north this weekend for a daunting top-of-the-table clash against the Teesside Mohawks.

Last season the Mohawks were unstoppable, winning three trophies, and they have a formidable home record.

This year the team has been strengthened with Corey Jackson signing from the Birmingham Bullets to contribute to attack. Their other foreign spot is taken by versatile all-round player Ralph Bucci.

Colin Rhooms from the Crusaders has been given the task of taking Bucci on. Controlling him is key so the away side can set the pace and style of the game on Sunday.

Coach Dip Donaldson said he was confident that his side could match the challenge and defend the Crusaders’ position at the top of the NBL Conference.

He said:

“Rhooms and Marvin Livingston both played really well for us in our friendly against Birmingham last weekend, and after excellent training sessions this week, I am counting on them to continue their form and give our side the boost we will need.

“Jason Swaine is another of the Mohawks great scorers. Swain formerly played for Premier league sides Sheffield and Manchester, and is probably one of the best shooters in the league.

“He shoots a high percentage of three point shots so if we can keep him off his usual form we will be doing well to further our chances against Teesside.”

Matt Collins and Manny Sharland are both back after taking last week off to recover from injuries.  Dominic Davis’ fitness is still in doubt as he continues to suffer from back pain.

Donaldson said the prospects for a fast team were good. He said:

“We have never had the luxury of being able to incorporate such a fast running game before this season, and I don't think Teesside will be expecting to see just how quick our players are this year.

“Our players are quick on both ends of the court and have no trouble keeping up defensively either.”

New recruit Marvin Harrison’s involvement has now been officially confirmed after he received clearance from the Department of Employment and Education.

With him on board, the Crusaders’ chances of bucking the trend of recent years will be higher. Donaldson added:

“I have great confidence in our team's talent this year. They have the right approach, playing with confidence and believing in each other's skills - making that extra pass to get the right player in position.

“The team spirit is there; the talent is there.  It will be an exciting game, that is guaranteed. We are going for the win!
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CWN / Sport / Basketball / Coventry Crusaders / 24 Nov 00
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