BBL title is ours to lose – Paul James

Worcester News: CENTRE BACK: Andreas Schreiber is over illness to rejoin the Wolves fold in time for tonight. Picture: KEITH HUNT. CENTRE BACK: Andreas Schreiber is over illness to rejoin the Wolves fold in time for tonight. Picture: KEITH HUNT.

DIRECTOR of basketball Paul James reckons Worcester Wolves will only have themselves to blame if they don't win the British Basketball League this season.

Wolves have stormed to the top of the table on the back of a 12-game league winning streak and are closing in on their maiden title.

Worcester have a six-point cushion over Newcastle Eagles, who they host in a mouth-watering encounter at the University Arena tonight (7.30pm), and a further two-point advantage over third-placed Sheffield Sharks.

Although both have games in hand on the leaders, Wolves are the masters of their own destiny as they cannot be caught without slipping up.

James said: "We've put ourselves in a fantastic position and, while trying not to add any more pressure, the ball is in our court because if we carry on and win our games, we'll win the league.

"It's our league to lose now so we've just got to keep the guys focused and healthy for the 10 games we have left and hopefully we can come through it.

"Having games of this magnitude now, where we've got a chance to win the league, is brilliant."

The Wolves coach, whose side triumphed 86-73 at Newcastle in the BBL Trophy quarter-finals last Friday, continued: "We haven't been in this situation before but we do have some players who are all about winning.

"All season long people have been trying to shoot us down or waiting for us to fall over and we haven't done that to this point.

"We're really close and the league is now in our hands. The other teams still have to play each other as well so we're in a fantastic position."

The sides are locked at one victory each in the league, with Wolves winning 80-71 in October and the Eagles triumphing 86-74 after overtime in November, both in the north-east.

With the head-to-head record on the line, which would give the victors the edge should the teams finish level on points, a near sell-out crowd is expected for tonight's clash.

It could top the 1,700 that packed the Hylton Road venue for Wolves' inaugural match in their new home against defending champions Leicester Riders in October.

But James is keen to make sure his team, who are 14 games unbeaten when the Trophy is factored in, does not lose focus now the business end of the season is approaching.

He added: "The next 10 games coming up are huge for us, even against those who are outside the top four because, as we've seen over the past few weeks, if you don't show up to play you can get beaten."

Centre Andreas Schreiber is back in training after missing last Friday's Trophy success and the 117-60 Championship victory at Birmingham Knights 24 hours later through illness.

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