Wolves switch focus to title race

Worcester News: (5038438) (5038438)

WORCESTER Wolves are not going to give up on their dream of winning the British Basketball League, says head coach Paul James.

The newly-crowned BBL Trophy champions, who host Durham Wildcats at the University Arena tonight (7.30pm), are in a three-horse race for the title with leaders Newcastle Eagles and third-placed Sheffield Sharks.

After last Friday's home defeat against the Sharks, Wolves are facing the prospect of having to win their remaining seven games to triumph.

They also need to beat Sheffield in their final meeting away on Wednesday, April 16, and hope the Sharks can win at Newcastle tonight.

Director of basketball James, whose side also visit Manchester Giants on Sunday (5pm), said: "Newcastle have only got three games left, one being Sheffield and the other two Birmingham and Surrey.

"They will beat Birmingham and Surrey without question so we would need Sheffield to beat Newcastle and for us to win our games, including beating Sheffield, Leicester and Manchester.

"We have some really tough games and we're going to give it our best. We still want to win every game we play.

"If we're there or thereabouts, great, if not then we'll look towards the play-offs."

Tonight's match against Durham will also see Wolves parade the BBL Trophy in front of their home fans.

Around 200 supporters made the long trek to Glasgow last weekend but many more are expected to be present for the Wildcats clash.

James said: "It's a bit like a home-coming and I think they'll be a bit of a party atmosphere at the game and hopefully we will have another fantastic crowd to see us be presented with the trophy yet again.

"Then we have to focus and concentrate on the game in hand. Durham ran Newcastle close last weekend so we can't take them lightly."

Daniel Belgrave is a doubt after landing awkwardly on his neck during the University of Worcester's varsity match against the University of Gloucestershire on Wednesday.

The incident happened with four minutes remaining, forcing the match to be abandoned, although Worcester's 103-59 lead now stands as a result.

Forward Belgrave was taken to hospital as a precaution but later released.

Meanwhile, Andreas Schreiber has returned to Sweden due to a long-standing ankle problem.

The centre has not played for around six weeks after contracting a virus which has caused reactive arthritis in the joint.

BBL Championship table

P W L Pts

Newcastle Eagles 30 25 5 50

Worcester Wolves 26 21 5 42

Sheffield Sharks 26 21 5 42

Leicester Riders 29 21 8 42

London Lions 28 16 12 32

Cheshire Phoenix 28 15 13 30

Durham Wildcats 29 12 17 24

Plymouth Raiders 29 12 17 24

Manchester Giants 29 12 17 24

Glasgow Rocks 27 10 17 20

Surrey United 28 4 24 8

Birmingham Knights 29 0 29 0

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