Tigers’ losing start continues

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Mersey Tigers in action – Copyright: RH Basketball/Flickr

Stuck at the bottom of the British Basketball League table and going nowhere fast, Mersey Tigers suffered two defeats at the weekend, extending their run to six games without a win.

The Tigers played host to Worcester Wolves on Friday night, going down 54-86. Two days later, they travelled to Durham to face the Durham Wildcats, where they also were on the wrong side of a 91-71 defeat.

The result however shows signs of improvement for the Tigers, with the side amassing their highest score of the season.

After a disappointing opening half at the end of which the Wildcats led 45-27, the Tigers performance improved in the third quarter, narrowing the gap before Chris Begley fouled out, allowing the Wildcats to increase their lead.

With the final two quarters finishing 22-21, and 24-23, the Tigers’ second half performance showed improvement by the young side, with Rudy Etilopy notching up a total of 27 points. Etilopy was also the Tigers’ top scorer against Worcester Wolves, posting 15 points.

Mersey Tigers coach Tony Walsh – Copyright: RH Basketball/Flickr

Having lost several key players from last year’s squad, the Tigers are a side in transition and coach Tony Walsh believes that results will improve with hard work. Speaking after the Worcester defeat, Walsh praised his side for their efforts in what has been a difficult start to the season.

He said: “The guys are in the gym everyday working hard, so it’s beginning to show. We did this against Manchester in the first two quarters, keeping it tight, but lost it with fitness. But there are plenty of positives to take from this.

“Other coaches have spoken to me and said my guys just do not give up until the final buzzer goes. They may be exhausted, but they go for every ball they can.”

The Tigers next game is on Sunday 4 November, away to the Cheshire Jets.

About Rory Kelly, JMU Journalism