WORCESTER Wolves are intent on beating Newcastle Eagles and booking a place in the British Basketball Cup semi-finals.
The sides meet on Tyneside tonight (7.30) with a two-legged last-four encounter against either Surrey Heat or Plymouth Raiders at stake.
Wolves, who had a bye in the previous round, are in a rich vein of form having comfortably seen off both Sheffield Sharks (82-66) and Mersey Tigers (86-54) in the championship last weekend.
Cup holders Newcastle, meanwhile, went down 75-63 to Leicester Riders on their own court in the league last Friday.
Worcester director of basketball Paul James is expecting a backlash but believes his players are more than capable of victory.
They recorded a championship triumph in Newcastle last season and lost by only eight points in the north-east back in September, when Stan Ocitti sunk 19 points.
James said: “If you’re going to get to a final you’re going to have to play, at some point, who everybody considers to be the best team and Newcastle are.
“It’s a great opportunity for us. I don’t think anybody’s going to be expecting us to win the game. But, as a group we believe in ourselves and think we can actually go up there and get the job done.
“I feel we’re a bigger and stronger team now than we were when we played them the first time so I’m quite excited about the game.”
“But it’s very rare that Newcastle lose games back-to-back so I know there’s going to be a bit of a backlash.”
Point guard Sherrad Prezzie-Blue remains stuck in the USA because of Superstorm Sandy.
However, the influential American is hopeful that he can complete his passport application in New York next week.