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Kapoulas On Returning To The BBL Play-Offs

A delighted Head Coach Andreas Kapoulas spoke exclusively to BristolFlyers.co.uk after his side secured a play-off place with a final day victory away at Surrey Scorchers.

"It's a great feeling, we're in the play-offs, but it’s not over yet. I’ve told the players that the basketball gods have more in store for us.”

Flyers had a tough start to 2016/17 season, facing Newcastle Eagles and Leicester Riders five times in their first 12 games of the season.

“Credit to our guys, we deserved it. It has been a roller coaster of a season for us. Starting with a 1-11 record and turning things around to finish the season with a 15-6 record is impressive. It comes down to the effort and determination of our players."

Despite the poor start to 2016/17 the Head Coach always believed his team could make the play-offs, a belief he says was shared by his players.

“We had a few bumps but we kept on going and we believe in each other. We knew we could finish this weekend with two wins and we did it.

 “We felt we were a play-off team through the whole season. We can compete with everyone in this league and we wanted to do it our way, we wanted to make sure we were the ones that controlled our destiny.”

Coach K says the support shown at the WISE Arena whilst Flyers went through that poor early season run was a key factor in turning around their season.

“I want to thank the players and I want to thank our supporters who always stayed behind us, they trusted us.

“We’ve had ten straight sell outs at the WISE and the fans have been right behind us throughout. They really have been the sixth man for us.

“It's great for Bristol and it's great for Bristol basketball. It's a terrific feeling and I'm so happy for the players for what they've achieved.

“I said a few weeks ago to my wife that this was going to come down to the last game against Surrey. I had a feeling.”

Things got tense in the final quarter at Surrey as the Scorchers got within one point of Flyers with just over a minute remaining. 

“Nick mentioned in an interview that it's mind over matter. I think at that point both teams are tired and it's just about determination.

“We made some big plays on the offensive end and defensively we were able to get some big stops.

“It was a real team effort, guys contributed off the bench.” 


Analysis

For Flyers to be successful in this first round Play-Off tie they will have to bring their fiercest defence to keep the Eagles' score down and to create fast break opportunities. In the half-court game Flyers will need to allow their offence to flow with plenty of ball movement to find the open man.

With the first round match-up just a few days away, there's no shying away from the fact that Newcastle Eagles as a first round opponent is a tough draw. However, if Flyers are able to cause the upset and score more than Eagles over the two legs, there is nothing to say that Flyers can't make a deep Play-Off run.

Analysis » How The Flyers Turned Their Season Around


Flyers’ reward for finishing seventh is a Quarter Final clash with six-time BBL Play-Off champions Newcastle Eagles, a team the Flyers have never beaten in their history.

“Finishing seventh is a tremendous achievement it’s the highest we've finished in club history in the BBL, but this is not over yet. It’s almost another season starting right now.

“We have a week to prepare ourselves for the two games”

"They're a historic program, the last ten years they've been up there in the BBL so they're going to be a tough opponent.

Despite their second-placed finish in the BBL this year, Eagles away form has been a weakness having failed to win away from home in 2017.

“They have some of the best players in the league, but we believe in what we do, we believe in our team, we believe in each other and we’ve got to go out there and compete.

“It's the play-offs. At this point records don't matter anymore; it's about one game at a time. It’s not over yet, there's another chapter in this book.”

Flyers have a chance to rewrite the history books this Friday night in the first leg of their Play-Off Quarter Final as Newcastle Eagles visit the SGS WISE Arena for a 7.30pm tip-off.

Tickets for the first leg of the BBL Play-Offs go on sale on Tuesday, April 25th at 10am