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‘Increased Physicality Pays Dividends In Opening Win’

Former Flyers forward Tom Hutchinson believes last Saturday's win over Plymouth Raiders was down to some increased physicality on the court,

Following a bumpy pre-season, coach Kapoulas got the win he was hoping for to start the 2016/17 BBL season. With both Flyers & Plymouth Raiders extensively rebuilding their rosters over the summer break, fans at the SGS Wise Arena enjoyed a physical and at times frenetic game which saw Flyers regain and secure the win late in the fourth quarter.

Battling In The Paint

Strong Start For Smith

Leslee Smith made an impressive start for Flyers - with 13 rebounds including 11 defensive rebounds against Raiders, the highest rebound figures in the opening weekend of the BBL.

Flyers’ increased physicality was on show from the outset, fewer three-point shot attempts and more emphasis on winning the battle of points in the paint (42-32 to Flyers), Flyers also managed to out-rebound Raiders (43-32). Forward Leslee Smith impressed showing great hands and tenacity on his way to 22 points and 13 rebounds.

I was also impressed with Mike Vigor who showed defensive toughness and composure, contributing scoring, rebounding, steals and blocking shots in less than 25 minutes on the floor. Despite injury confining captain Greg Streete to the bench in the first half, Flyers were able to maintain intensity and concentration on both ends down the stretch.

Was the offensive execution, timing and spacing consistent? No, it wasn't a pretty game but Flyers got it done through grit and determination.

Saturday sees Flyers hosting Surrey Scorchers at the Wise Arena in the first round of the BBL Cup. Surrey will be looking to secure their first win of the season following a home loss to London Lions on opening night. Led by Will Neighbour and Mike Ocherobia, coach Kapoulas will be working hard this week in practice on defensively neutralising these two scorers and emulating London Lions who held Surrey to 58 points.

Flyers face Surrey Scorchers in the BBL Cup this Saturday (7.30pm) - click here to purchase tickets online.

Written by Tom Hutchinson - Tom played for Bristol Flyers from its inception in National League division three and was part of the roster that won promotions to divisions two and one before injury forced his early retirement.

Do you agree with Tom? Leave him a comment or ask him a question below.