WORCESTER Wolves director of basketball Paul James has said his team must beat league leaders Newcastle Eagles tomorrow (Friday) to have any realistic chance of winning the BBL Championship.
Wolves know defeat on Friday night against the defending champions could cost them dear in their bid to win British Basketball’s top league for the first time in their history.
Currently sitting second in the table, Wolves will close the gap to just two points between them and Newcastle should they win at the University of the Worcester Arena.
But a defeat will see Newcastle, who are currently on a 19 game unbeaten run, move a significant six points clear with still a game in hand to spare over their closest rivals.
Wolves go into the game after a successful festive period having won three league games on the bounce and James has warned his players of the consequences of defeat.
“It’s almost a must-win game really because, if we lose this game, that’s five losses in the league,” he said. “Newcastle have only lost one at this moment in time and you can’t see them going on to lose five or six games for the rest of the season.
“It’s a huge game for us and every game we play now is big. In the league, anybody can beat anybody it seems – apart from Newcastle.
“They’re one of those teams who find a way to win. Whether they’re playing well, badly or indifferently, they find a way to win games. But hopefully, on Friday, we can be the undoing of that,” he added.
Wolves began the season with a brilliant away win against Newcastle and victory again on Friday will give them the season head-to-head advantage over Newcastle after winning at least two out of three league contests.
If Wolves were to gain the head to head advantage it would mean they would finish above Newcastle in the league should both teams finish on the same number of points at the end of the season.
BBL Table – Top 4 (games played in brackets)
1. Newcastle Eagles 32 (17)
2. Worcester Wolves 28 (18)
3. Leicester Riders 24 (15)
4. Cheshire Phoenix 24 (17)