Wolves aiming for final tonic against Sheffield

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First published in Sport
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WORCESTER Wolves are looking for the perfect send-off ahead of their British Basketball League Trophy final with victory against Sheffield Sharks at the University Arena tonight (7.30pm).

While all the talk has been about Sunday's silverware showdown against Glasgow Rocks, the Sharks clash is crucial for Wolves' hopes of winning the Championship.

Paul James' side are aiming to close the gap on leaders Newcastle Eagles, who have a four-point cushion at the summit but having played three games more.

With Sheffield just two points behind second-placed Wolves, there is little margin for error in the title race.

Wolves also need to win tonight to avoid losing the potentially-pivotal head-to-head record against the Sharks, who beat them 83-64 at the English Institute of Sport in November.

But Worcester got the better of them in both legs of the Trophy semi-final earlier this month and are determined to be the masters of their own destiny.

Director of basketball James said: "It's a very important game against Sheffield and we know the importance of winning the remaining eight games we have left - that keeps the league in our hands.

"If we can do that we don't have to rely on anybody else beating Newcastle or Sheffield. It is within our own hands.

"Then we've got the small matter of a Trophy final on Sunday but our focus is well and truly on this league game against Sheffield.

"We've proven already this season that we can go on a run of games without losing, all the teams we have to play we've beaten so there's no reason why we can't do that, but we're going to have to be at our best.

"We've had brilliant home support and hopefully it will be a big crowd again to not only see us win that game but to also see us off to the final on Sunday."

James has also admitted that Wolves turned down the option of postponing tonight's match in order to give them extra rest time ahead of Sunday's Trophy final.

He explained: "We were actually offered the opportunity to cancel the game against Sheffield, but I feel we’re better when we’re playing.

"It’s nice to have a game where there’s going to be a lot riding on the result, which will focus our minds ready for Sunday.”

He added: "We really haven't played for 40 minutes against them, we've had great starts but then allowed them to come back into the game.

"We need to focus for 40 minutes, come out with a fast start and then maintain that, it will make life easier for ourselves."

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