Wolves Desperate to End on a High

BBL Playoff Final - Worcester Wolves vs Newcastle Eagles

Last Updated: May 10, 2014 03:52pm
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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Esh Group Eagles Newcastle can claim a sixth BBL Play-off title in ten years at Wembley Arena on Sunday (tip off 3pm) - but standing in their way will be a Worcester Wolves side desperate to end their best season on a high.

Worcester have enjoyed a breakthrough year finishing third in the Championship while playing in a brand new arena and lifting their first piece of silverware in the shape of the BBL Trophy back in March.

Eagles meanwhile reclaimed their Championship crown and avenged last year's Play-off final defeat by producing an unlikely second-leg comeback to overthrow reigning champions Leicester Riders in the semi-finals.

"It was a pretty wild game to play in against Riders. It was intense, but a lot of fun," said Eagles first-year forward Scott Martin, who has played a key role in his team's success this term.

"They have all gone down to the wire against Riders and I think a couple of other times, maybe we were just lucky that we made one or two more shots than them to be able to ride out on top."

The team that comes out on top on Sunday will also take the head-to-head between the teams this term, with Eagles prevailing in the league match-ups 2-1 while Wolves knocked them out of the Trophy.

Martin added: "We're excited about playing Worcester because we know just how much of a challenge they will give us. We've just got to focus and if we do that, then we know we have the ability to finish the season with a win."

Forward Jamal Williams was the focus of most of the attention following Wolves' Trophy success back in March.

His 26-point haul lifted Worcester to their maiden title that day and - after overcoming One Health Sharks Sheffield in the semi-final, despite a slow start to the second leg - is keen to double his medal tally for the season.

"It's another final and another chance to take home some silverware so we are excited," said Williams. "We are past the semi-finals weekend so now we have to think about Newcastle.

"We expected Sheffield to put up a big fight early; they were down 20 [from the first leg]. But then we showed what kind of team we are. When we went down 10 or 15 we definitely weren't turning on each other, we are a close-knit group and when times get tough we just get closer."

One of the leaders of that group is without doubt the Molten BBL Player of the Year, Zaire Taylor

Taylor is back at Wembley for a second straight season after helping Leicester beat the Eagles last term and expect him to lead by example as he uses his experience to do all he can to get the Wolves over the line.

"They have proven they can beat us, we have proven we can beat them, and it is going to be about who executes better, who is more efficient, and who plays smarter," said Taylor.

"The team that does that and has less mental lapses is going to win the game."


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