Dec 16 2008 By Matthew Leslie
ROCKS skipper Rob Yanders has praised team-mate Marc Pratt for his part in shooting down the Lions last week.
The Kelvin Hall side were involved in a titanic tussle with Milton Keynes Lions and things looked bleak when sharp-shooter Blake Shelton had to hobble off injured.
Step forward Marc Pratt who put in a phenomenal shift landing 14 crucial points in the Rocks' 94-82 victory.
Pratt who signed last summer from Cheshire Jets has so far been used sparingly with fans more accustomed to seeing him on the bench.
But as Yanders states, there's more to come from Marc as last week clearly showed.
He said: "People are coming up to me and congratulating me for my own display (Yander top-scored with 22) but Marc was a key factor for us.
"He is one reason why we made expanding our bench a priority because last season - as you saw when Julius Joseph had that wrist injury - we didn't have the back-up to replace him and usually lost games like this.
"Blake having to come off was a blow because he looked on fire before he got injured.
"But credit to Marc because he showed he fires in baskets with the best of them. We always knew what he was capable of but it was just a case of getting his confidence up.
"I wouldn't be surprised if he goes on from this and starts hitting in some big totals for the rest of the season because he is a quality player."
Meanwhile, another former Rocks boss has revealed how he too tried to sign new boy Wilbur Johnson when he was in charge.
Following last week's revelation from former coach Thorsten Leibenath, the German's predecessor Steve Swanson - who came within a whisker of clinching a league and play-off double in his final year in 2006 - has admitted that Wilbur who played under him at Brighton Bears - was a target for him as well.
The current Idaho State University boss said: "Wilber Johnson is one of my favourite BBL players of all time.
"Wil the Thrill" is one of the most well-rounded big man in BBL history and in my mind is a massive pickup for the Rocks.
"I checked on his availability every year with the Rocks but could never reach his salary level.
"He has one of the softest touches I've ever seen in a big man and even stretched his range out to the three-point line. He's a very good rebounder and defender as well - a smart player and a great guy.
"From what I've seen of the Rocks line-up, he's exactly the missing piece that could put them in a position to win the league championship."