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Challenging Weekend for the Wolves

Worcester Wolves

Last Updated: Nov 14, 2013 09:31pm
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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Friday 15 November 2013 – Worcester Wolves vs Surrey United

Worcester Wolves will face a sharp contrast in their opponents this weekend. On Friday they will welcome winless Surrey United to the University of Worcester Arena (tip off 7.30pm).

The next day the Wolves will make a challenging trip to joint-top of the table Leicester Riders.

Wolves will find out just how tough they really are by the end of a month which sees them face a number of title rivals on the road, according to their guard Zaire Taylor. Despite a gutsy win over Glasgow on Sunday, Taylor feels their true strength is still to be revealed:

"The mental toughness of this Worcester team has yet to be determined. We've been given a tough schedule this month. We have Leicester twice, Newcastle and Sheffield, all on the road, along with a solid Plymouth team and a Glasgow team I expect to be competitive this season. How we finish the month will tell us just how tough we are, but either way I believe you build strength through struggle and it will make us stronger."

Wolves' strength shone last time they faced United, a 117-60 rout - but Taylor believes there are signs of promise from Surrey, and their leader Elvisi Dusha.

"It's good for them kids as individuals to play in the BBL and I hope they get better, tougher, stronger, and learn from each loss, because I think a couple of them have some potential.

"In particular I like their point guard, not necessarily what he is but what he could be. Going up against myself, Matt Pressey, Anthony Downing, [censored] Holmes, Paul Gause, and EJ Harrison, he's playing against some high level players night-in and night-out."

United coach Jack Majewski commented: "We look okay in spells and then we have periods of catastrophic mistakes which cost us dearly. Worcester absolutely [censored] us in the first game of the season scoring over 60 points in the paint. Hopefully the presence of Ceslovas Kucinskas will help us in that department but we absolutely cannot rely on him solely when it comes to inside game."

Meanwhile Wolves coach Paul James remarked: "Surrey have steadily improved with every game and they now have in Ceslovas Kucinskas a solid inside presence, which they did not have when we played them at the start of the season. We need to take the momentum of the Glasgow game into this one and approach it with the right attitude."

There will be extra entertainment taking place off the court this Friday when, in support of the BBC’s Children in Need Appeal, the Wolves are asking fans to come along dressed as their favourite superheroes, with prizes to be awarded for the best-dressed. A half-time display by a gymnastics group is also planned, alongside various competitions to help the appeal.

Saturday 16 November 2013 – Leicester Riders vs Worcester Wolves

Paul James expects more thrills when his Worcester Wolves renew rivalries with a trip to Leicester Riders on Saturday (tip off 7.30pm).

Wolves and Riders have split two ties this season, both settled by 12-point margins, one Championship game in favour of Worcester and one Cup clash going Riders' way earlier this month.

James feels the two teams bring out the best in each other and anticipates more of the same, saying: "There is a nice little rivalry developing with both teams respectful of what the other can do. Rob Paternostro has put together a great defensive team and has them firing, we need to do a better job in handling this area of the game. There has been nothing in the two games we have played.

"In the first game we executed better than them down the stretch in the fourth quarter and in the second game they were better than us down the stretch in the fourth. This should be another thrilling game."

Wolves will go into the game in good spirits too, having halted a three-game skid against Glasgow Rocks.

"There was extra emphasis on what had given us the good start to the season and we went a long way to getting back to that against Glasgow," added James. "We competed on every level and when it came down to it we got the ball to the correct people at the right time."

Wolves guard Zaire Taylor added his comments: "I don't know if Leicester against Worcester is a rivalry but we've had two entertaining games. We beat them by 12, they beat us by 12, and both games were decided in three minutes of each fourth quarter. If we both finish top of the league, along with the added story line of me changing teams in the off-season, that can add to the rivalry. Also you have two of the top three coaches in the league in Rob and PJ."

Meanwhile Paternostro stated: "Wolves picked up a very good win in Glasgow on Sunday, they have had a great start to the season. It's certainly unique to be playing a team for the third time by the middle of November; both teams will be very familiar with each other." 

 

 

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