PAUL James believes reaching the British Basketball League Trophy final was crucial to proving Worcester Wolves are the real deal.
Wolves face their date with destiny against Glasgow Rocks at Glasgow’s Commonwealth Arena on Sunday, March 30, after seeing off holders Sheffield Sharks in the semi-finals.
Having lost at the same stage last season to Leicester Riders and in the BBL Cup to Plymouth Raiders the year before, Worcester made it third time lucky under James’ leadership.
It is further proof of the progress Wolves are making, with the team also sitting second in the Championship behind leaders Newcastle Eagles.
The Eagles moved top with a 97-96 victory over Leicester but have played two games more than Worcester.
James said: “The message I gave to the players was yes, we’re having a great season but unless we can get to the final then we haven’t really achieved anything. We needed to get to the final just to cement where we are right now and to show that we’re not a flash in the pan.”
The Wolves chief also praised the response of Zaire Taylor, who led all scorers with 30 points in the second leg against Sheffield, including five three-pointers.
James said: “He’s a big-time player and the occasion was just right for him. Maybe when we played Sheffield away he didn’t have the best of fourth quarters but he certainly made up for it.
“Zaire got 30 points but to get to finals it has to be a team performance and you look at the little things other people did to get him open by setting him screens.”
Wolves return to Championship action on Friday when they host Plymouth Raiders at the University Arena (7.30pm).