WOLVES head coach Paul James promised to deliver more ‘magnificent displays’ after his side progressed to the semi-finals of the BBL Cup with a 97-85 victory over Glasgow Rocks on Sunday.
With Jermel Kennedy having departed the club last week, James’ wolfpack was further depleted by the withdrawal of point-guard Elvisi Dusha due to a hand injury.
Just six established players suited up for the trip to Scotland, but a composed display from all participants meant a near double-figure lead was maintained for much of the afternoon at the Emirates Arena.
“We put in a fabulous shift. It was a magnificent all-round team display,” said James.
“Yes we were short-handed in our numbers, but not in our spirit. We travelled up on Saturday which gave us time to focus on what we needed to do. We planned what we would do and we executed it.
“Everyone knew we could not afford any cheap fouls, but at the same time we still had to play with intensity. The whole team played with a ‘they shall not get past us’ mentality in defence, whilst we carried on taking our chances at the other end,” he added.
Ashton Khan was prolific in the first quarter as he helped his side to a 20-12 lead with several trips to the basket, before an array of quick-fire points from Rocks’ Great Britain stalwart Kieron Achara dragged matters back to 25-25, prompting James to call a time out.
But Alex Navajas coolly sunk a three-pointer as the game restarted, before duplicating the feat just before half-time to give the visitors a 43-36 advantage.
Numerous Glasgow attacks were repelled as Worcester’s control carried over into the third quarter, with Brandon Parrish, George Beamon and Khan all converting from distance.
Trailing 72-57 in the final quarter, Rocks called for a time out, but it failed to halt Wolves’ momentum as Dallin Bachynski muscled his way to a double of offensive rebounds to seal the win for Worcester.
Parrish led the scoring with 22 points, closely followed by Beamon with 21 and Navajas with 18.
Wolves will face Sheffield Sharks over two legs in the BBL Cup semi-finals, with dates TBC.
Worcester meet Glasgow again on Friday at the University of Worcester Arena in the British Basketball League (tip-off 7.30pm).