Wolves can be number one team says coach James

STAR PERFORMER: Worcester point guard Zaire Taylor is looking to win the BBL play-offs for the second year running. Picture: KEITH HUNT.

STAR PERFORMER: Worcester point guard Zaire Taylor is looking to win the BBL play-offs for the second year running. Picture: KEITH HUNT.

First published in Sport
Last updated

VICTORY for Worcester Wolves in tomorrow's British Basketball League play-off final showdown against Newcastle Eagles (3pm) would make them the country's number one team, says coach Paul James.

Wolves are chasing their second piece of silverware this season after claiming the BBL Trophy against Glasgow Rocks in March.

Although they finished third in the league behind the Eagles and Sheffield Sharks, they are intent on finishing the campaign with a superior record over their rivals.

Success at Wembley Arena would mean Worcester have beaten Newcastle in three of the teams' five meetings in all competitions in 2013-14.

Wolves have already beaten the Sharks in four of their seven matches, including in the play-off semi-finals, and defeated BBL Cup winners Leicester Riders three times in the league.

James said: "The play-off final is absolutely the game to be involved in but the Trophy was the first piece of silverware this club had ever won in the BBL so that's always going to be very special.

"But the play-off final is always special because you are playing to be that last team standing.

"It's even more special for us because if we're able to beat Newcastle we would have won more games than any other team. We would be the number one team over all the competitions.

"That's another goal that we're trying to go for as well and finish the season on a positive note so everybody can go away for the summer really happy and looking forward to the new season."

Wolves beat Newcastle en route to winning the BBL Trophy but lost two of the three league meetings against the champions - their sole success coming in the North East in October.

Sheffield triumphed in all three league matches against Worcester but, crucially, were ousted in each leg of the semi-finals in both the Trophy and play-offs.

Three league wins for Wolves over Leicester ensured the defending champions finished fourth but the Riders got the better of the University Arena side in the Cup.

Player-of-the-year Zaire Taylor is also looking for more personal success against Newcastle after helping Leicester beat them in the play-off final at Wembley 12 months ago.

He said: "They have proven they can beat us, we have proven we can beat them and it is going to be about who executes better, who is more efficient and who plays smarter.

"The team that does that and has less mental lapses is going to win the game."

Wolves president Mick Donovan added: "For a little city like Worcester to win the Trophy final and now be in the play-off final is fantastic and we're really excited. I hope we do the fans proud."

n A decade of dominance for the Eagles - see page 46.

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