SERBIAN forward Stefan Djukic says Worcester Wolves "owe Newcastle one" in Sunday's British basketball League play-off final.
The Eagles won the league for the sixth time in nine years, two points ahead of Wolves, who finished third behind Sheffield Sharks due to an inferior head-to-head record.
But Djukic believes it was Worcester's 86-78 defeat to Newcastle at the University Arena in February that tipped the balance in the Eagles' favour.
That success gave the North East outfit the head-to-head advantage over Wolves and paved the way for them to seal the crown.
"We have to get the win and make it payback time for the Championship," Djukic said. "We were the team that held the longest lead at the top and then we slipped in two games.
"We definitely owe them one for the bad game here which actually gave them the Championship."
The 24-year-old also believes Wolves have fallen short of their own high expectations despite having enjoyed the most successful season in the club's history.
But he feels victory at Wembley Arena would still represent a fine return for the campaign.
"We thought we would do better," Djukic said. "We were thinking we were going to win the Cup, play-offs, Trophy and Championship. Perhaps we were too ambitious.
"Winning the play-offs would be 50 per cent of our goal which is not bad considering we were really ambitious."
Meanwhile, Wolves centre Will Creekmore has been named BBL player of the year by the Basketball Journalists Association.
The American, who has nicknamed "Mr Double Double" for his prowess on the court, polled the most votes among the media who regularly cover the sport in the UK.
Team-mate Zaire Taylor was second and Victor Moses, of Cheshire Phoenix, third.
Newcastle player-coach Fab Flournoy was named coach of the year for the third time in four years, with Worcester's Paul James runner-up.