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Wolves Top of the Table Decider

Worcester Wolves vs Newcastle Eagles

Last Updated: Feb 25, 2014 08:11pm
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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All roads will lead to the University of Worcester Arena this Friday, when table-topping Worcester Wolves will meet their closest challengers for this season’s British Basketball League title, the Newcastle Eagles.

Boasting an impressive 20 wins to just three losses record, with an unbeaten run stretching all the way back to November, the Wolves could face their sternest test to date when second-placed Eagles visit the city, carrying their own eye-catching record, suffering just one defeat more than their hosts.

If the teams were to finish with equal records, the head-to-head between the clubs will decide the final placings. Two of the three league games have already taken place, both of them in the North East. Back in October, Wolves ran out 80-71 winners, while a month later they succumbed 74-86 after overtime.

But the advantage could now lie with Worcester for two reasons: it will be the first time that the Eagles have visited the new 2000-seat home of the Wolves, where only a single defeat has occurred; in addition the Wolves are the form team, having humbled the Eagles 86-73 in the BBL Trophy last Friday, again on their own court.

Head coach Paul James gave his thoughts about last week’s latest victory over the Eagles:

“I’m delighted to get through to the semis of the Trophy, and doubly-delighted that we have got there despite a tough route. In the first round we had to travel to the Copper Box Arena to meet London Lions. No sooner had we dealt with them than we found ourselves having to make the even-longer journey all the way up to Newcastle. They hadn’t lost on their own court in nearly four months, yet we still handled them. It was a really tight contest until the last quarter when we blew them away with a 17-point turnaround. We matched their intensity and aggressiveness, and we’re now being rewarded with a huge chance to get to the Trophy Final up in Glasgow at the end of March.”

Referring to this week’s best-of-three decider against Newcastle, James had a message for the people of Worcester:

“Anyone who has already been to see us play at the arena needs to get down there again on Friday. If they’ve got friends who haven’t already been, then they need to bring them along as well. It could be the defining moment of the season. Whoever wins will probably be the favourite to go on and win the league.”

Tickets for the title showdown, (tip off 7.30pm), can be purchased in advance by visiting the Wolves website www.worcesterwolves.org

In Monday’s BBL Trophy semi-final draw Wolves were paired up with last year’s winners, the Sheffield Sharks. Dates for the home and away legs of the tie will be announced shortly. The other semi-final will take place between Glasgow Rocks and Cheshire Phoenix.

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