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Worcester Wolves ace Williams relishing pressures of BBL play-offs
KAI Williams believes Worcester Wolves will be able to handle the pressure of the British Basketball League play-offs next month.
Wolves have qualified for the end-of-season showpiece for the second year running, and their third in total, following a strong run since the start of 2013.
Even equalling their third-place finish in the table of last term is not out of the question for Paul James’ in-form side who climbed into that position following the wins over Cheshire Pheonix (121-90) and London Lions (94-76).
However, they will be looking to better their record in the play-offs having lost in the quarter-finals in their last two appearances.
But Williams reckons Wolves are equipped for the challenge, not least because of the experience gleaned from their BBL Trophy semi-final loss to Leicester Riders.
He feels that continued high-pressure matches are holding Worcester in good stead as they aim for success.
The Canadian-born small forward, who has been capped by England, said: “Those tough games are going to prepare for us close situations because no play-off game is going to be easy.
“From what I remember last year there were a lot of close games so I think getting used to game situations of time management and being able to execute plays is definitely going to help us.
“Leicester are top of the table and are going to be one of the favourites to win it this year so playing well against them gives us a little bit of confidence knowing that we might end up seeing them in the play-offs.
“We’re pushing to finish as high as possible for the play-offs and we want to peak at the right time.
“We don’t want to play our best basketball and then drop off when the play-offs come, we want to have a nice smooth transition into the play-offs and make a run.
“As long as guys keep on playing unselfish basketball, which we have been doing, I think that we can continue to improve.”
Williams has made a huge impact on Wolves since joining them in December after gelling quickly with his team-mates.
He said: “I have had some good games and not so good games but in the most part I feel comfortable here, I enjoy playing alongside a lot of these guys.”
He added: “I am playing with some veterans and players like Alex Owumi and Sherrad Prezzie-Blue make it very easy to be on the team offensively and defensively, as well as playing with a smart player like Carlos Fernandez.
“Also, just being around some of these young guys in practice with their energy and enthusiasm for the game is really an enjoyable situation.”