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Tom's injured, so raise your game! Basketball.


COACH Steve Butler has called on the rest of his players to raise their game after losing Tom Robinson for Tees Valley Mohawks' trip to Leicester tomorrow.

The former Middlesbrough Lions skipper has adapted brilliantly to League Division One basketball this season.

But he misses tomorrow's game at the Braunstone Leisure Centre after suffering knee ligament damage in last week's win at second-placed Leeds Carnegie.

"Losing Tom at this time of year is bad," said Butler.

"It's a big loss for us as he brings a lot to the team but the other guys will need to step up and play even better to get the wins we need."

Mohawks have hit form again recently after a New Year wobble and go into the game on the back of wins against Leeds and Bradford which followed a hard-fought overtime defeat to Essex Leopards in the National Trophy final.

Those wins boosted their chances of a top four finish in the league which would earn them home advantage in the quarter-finals of the play-offs.

Jorge Ebanks will need to pass a late fitness test after collecting a dead leg at the end of the Leeds Game but Butler is confident he will be able to play.

An added bonus is that 6ft 11in Theo Turner is back after and ankle injury and looking to impress during the final weeks of the season.

"Theo trained really well this week and his movement on the court is back after suffering from a bad ankle injury three weeks ago," reported Butler.

"It's good to get him back as he will help on the rebounds and defensively."

Mohawks head into the game six points clear of their opponents but, having squeezed past the Warriors by just four points at home in December, Butler expects another tough game.

"I've said it before, no game is easy in this league," said Butler.

"Leicester are on a good run at the moment, winning three out of their last four games including big wins over Essex Leopards and Bradford Dragons."

Mohawks II set off for Hull tomorrow knowing a win would guarantee a Division Four play-off spot.

And if they can go undefeated for the next three games, they will be crowned Division Four (North) champions.

"There is a lot of basketball to be played from now and the end of the season," said coach Tony Hanson, "but we have played well all season and last week's win was vital after Stockport lost which put us a game clear at the top of the table.

"Hull will be tough as we lost there in the National Shield so we will need to be at our best to bring the league points back to Teesside."


INJURY BLOW: Tom Robinson, seen in action against Leeds Picture by KAREN BROWN
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 8, 2013
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