BBL title to go down to the wire

Mersey Tigers’ mammoth end of season run-in will go right down to the wire as they lost control of the BBL Championship over the weekend.

After Friday’s 88-50 rout of Glasgow, the Tigers were looking good with a four point cushion at the top of the BBL, but a 78-76 defeat at Guildford on Saturday, coupled with wins for nearest rivals Newcastle against Worcester and Plymouth have blown the title race wide open once again.

However, the Tigers destiny remains in their own hands with three games to play starting on Tuesday evening, when Sheffield come to the ECHO Arena, in a game where fans can gain entry for just £1.

The club’s final two games are away from home at Newcastle on Wednesday and Sheffield on Friday, as the league title promises to go down to the wire.

Coach Tony Garbelotto said: “We have to beat Sheffield on Tuesday. And we now have to win on Wednesday which is going to be a tough one.”

Garbelotto’s side have returned to the ECHO Arena for their final five home games, having lost just one game at the venue all season, 77-74 against Cheshire Jets in January.

But it was the dropped points in the home match against Plymouth, played at the John Amaechi Centre in Manchester, that Garbelotto cited as the most frustrating of his side’s seven losses during this league campaign.

He added: “I wish we had played all the other games here. This is like a real home court. It’s not easy coming here and playing on concrete in a proper arena. A lot of teams get thrown off by it, but we’ve been able to develop a style of play.

“Only really Sheffield have been able to adapt to the conditions well, but we were unbelievable against them last Wednesday.

“As for the league title, we know now exactly what we need to do.”

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