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In-form Wolves look to maintain fine run
11:00am Saturday 5th January 2013 in Worcester Wolves By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
WORCESTER Wolves are intent on carrying their end-of-year form into 2013 when they visit Leicester Riders tonight (7.30pm).
Paul James’ side have won their last three matches, all against teams currently in the top six of the British Basketball League.
After toppling leaders Newcastle Eagles 88-73 last month, Wolves beat Glasgow Rocks 83-70 before defeating Plymouth Raiders 90-77 in the BBL Trophy quarter-finals to set up a last-four encounter with the Eagles.
Now the fifth-placed University of Worcester side bid to extend that sequence against the second-placed Riders, who inflicted a 79-61 defeat on them in the East Midlands in October.
Director of basketball James said: “They’ve had a fantastic start, only losing two games in the league all season.
“Right now, there are four or five teams who can beat each other on any given day so I’d like to think we can go to Leicester, another top team, having beaten Newcastle, Plymouth and Glasgow, and try to get our fourth win in a row.
“We’ve played Leicester and were horrible that day — they had one of the best games I’ve seen them produce all season long.
“It was a tough night for us but we’re a different team now and are playing differently.
“We’ve got a bit more steel about us and are looking forward to it.
“It’s another test for us and hopefully we can go out there and do ourselves justice.”
Leicester lost their last league game 86-82 at Plymouth Raiders but will be back at the John Sandford Centre tomorrow, a small venue due to be closed at the end of the season.
James added: “It’s as tough as they come, not only because Leicester have a fantastic team this year but their facility is the toughest place to go and play in the league.
“If they were coming into the league now, they wouldn’t be allowed to play in that arena but it gives them a great advantage.
“We have to go there, perhaps slow the game down a little bit and make sure we’re there or thereabouts towards the end.
“I think if we can do that then we’re going to give ourselves a great chance of winning it.
“Our home-court form has been absolutely awesome, only losing one game all season, but we need to improve our away performances and I think we will start to do that.”
Leicester coach Rob Paternostro said: “Worcester have been playing well. With the addition of Kai Williams and Sherrad Prezzie-Blue, they are deeper and have many weapons.
“They are a team that can score in many ways so our defence will be very important tonight.”
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