Still no promotion talk despite Ipswich’s big win over Eastside
- Credit: Archant
Even after his team cruised to a blow-out 79-54 win at the Eastside Eagles on Saturday, Ipswich head coach Nick Drane said promotion is still not on the team’s agenda.
The squad, who struggled through the first part of the season, took their record to eight wins and four losses with Saturday’s triumph and are still very much in the shake-up at the top of a very competitive table.
But with a poor 1-4 record against sides in the top six, Drane still feels that it would require too much of a collapse from the teams around them to realistically consider themselves as promotion contenders.
He said: “I’m not being defeatist, anyone who knows me knows that’s not in my nature, but we have to be realistic about the fact that this is a very competitive division where seven or eight teams are taking games off each other.
“To go up we may need to win 12 straight games (including the two they have won since the turn of the year) and while I believe we are capable of beating anyone, you can’t ignore the facts – we have already lost four times, twice by double figures.”
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He added: “There is certainly a buzz around the guys that has been missing but again, as I have said for the last six weeks, we have left ourselves a mountain to climb and I’m not going to let myself or anyone involved with this team get so preoccupied with getting into that top two that we stop enjoying it – it can’t become a chore.”
On Saturday in London the team travelled with just eight players, due primarily to injuries and Drane opting to rest Leigh Greenan ahead of the Loughborough game, but this did not prevent the team putting on their most clinical performance of the season.
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For the second week running there were four players doing the majority of the heavy lifting in terms of the scoring load.
Tom Sadler couldn’t miss in the first half, leading the way with 19 points for the game.
Sam Newman and Josh Johnson were a constant threat too, as Newman, who finished with 16 points, was hot from the three-point line. Ipswich took a 12-point lead into the break.
The second half saw Ipswich extend their lead to 25 within three minutes.
Johnson and Newman continued to knock it down while Tyme Regent-Bascombe came alive, playing his best basketball of the season on his way to 19 points.
Colin Dockrell and Billy Smith came into the game and both made key plays as Ipswich extended the lead before the giant Tendai Simbai entered and was just too big for the Eagles players as Ipswich ran out impressive victors.
Drane said: “Everyone was good today, doing their job for the team.”
Ipswich host league favorites Loughborough Riders at Copleston on Saturday. The club is offering this game at special discounted rate of just £2 for adults and £1 for anyone under-18.