Paul James: We must win all nine league games to take title

PAUL JAMES: Win hopes.

PAUL JAMES: Win hopes.

First published in Sport Worcester News: Photograph of the Author by

DIRECTOR of basketball Paul James believes Worcester Wolves must win all nine remaining matches to lift the British Basketball League title.

Wolves, who host Plymouth Raiders at the University Arena tonight (7.30pm), lie two points behind leaders Newcastle Eagles.

The BBL Trophy finalists have two games in hand on the table-toppers but also must play third-placed Sheffield Sharks twice at the arena.

Given Newcastle have the head-to-head record over Worcester, James reckons there is almost no margin for error.

He said: "We're fighting on two fronts now. In the league, I think we need to win all nine games to finish top.

"We've really got to focus on the games left. They're all matches we can win against teams we've beaten and it's a matter of us knuckling down.

"We just need to keep playing hard for each other, work hard in training, pick the wins up and see how far we can take it in the league."

Reigning coach-of-the-month James has called on Wolves' vocal fans to replicate the support shown in the Trophy semi-final second leg against Sheffield.

He said: "They were tremendous and came to the fore when we really needed them. The game was close and they really got into it, which made us raise our energy to go on and win.

"We'll need that for the home games we have left. For any chance of winning the league, we need people to come in and get behind the team."

In their two previous meetings this term, Raiders won 74-71 at the arena in November but Wolves triumphed 93-63 in Devon last month.

James added: "Plymouth sneaked a win from us, which is a game that might come back to haunt us come the end of the season.

"But we went down to their place, played fantastically well and dismantled them somewhat. Hopefully, we can reach that level of performance again and do the same thing. Most of the guys have had a week off so they'll be raring to go again."

Centre Andreas Schreiber is not fit to face his former employers due to an ankle problem but forward Kalil Irving continues to make progress from a dislocated shoulder.

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