WORCESTER Wolves boss Paul James was especially pleased for the players and fans after the club reached the British Basketball League play-offs semi-finals.

They made it through after a thrilling 86-84 victory over Sheffield Sharks at the University of Worcester Arena followed up their 73-71 win in South Yorkshire.

Wolves face a two-legged last-four encounter against Newcastle Eagles playing away on Wednesday (7.30pm) and at home on Friday (7.30pm).

Leicester Riders face London Lions in the other clash with the winning teams heading to London's O2 on Sunday, May 14, for the final.

Head coach James admitted Sheffield had been challenging quarter-final opponents, saying: “It was always going to be a hard contest.

"It’s great we have knocked out the defending play-off champions, especially as they match up so well with us.

“Both legs were hard-fought and we really had to battle. Coming away from Sheffield with a slender win set us up.

"It was always going to be close back here but I’m delighted we did enough to get through.

An electric second quarter helped Worcester build a commanding 50-31 lead just before half-time only to then be severely outscored by their visitors in the final quarter, leaving themselves teetering on the brink of elimination.

James continued: “It was a nail-biting end to the match. We had a bit of a meltdown late on.

"We will need to be better than that against what is likely to be even tougher competition still to come."

Worcester will carry confidence into their semi-final with Newcastle, having defeated them both home and away in their latest two meetings.

James added: “Everyone will be up for the next stage.

“I’m really pleased for all the players who have worked exceptionally hard to get us to this point and I’m really pleased for all our loyal fans who stuck by us despite the poor start we had to our season.”

For the second game in a row against Sharks Danny Huffor led Wolves’ scorers with 23 points.

Marek Klassen and Trevor Setty were next on the scoreboard with 14 and 13 respectively.