WORCESTER Wolves produced a thrilling late comeback last night to give themselves a great chance of progressing to the semi-finals of the British Basketball League play-offs.

Wolves trailed by a dozen points entering the final quarter of their first-leg encounter with second-seeded London Lions at the University of Worcester Arena.

They looked to be heading for the exit door before a storming fightback narrowed the gap to just 85-84 heading into Sunday’s return leg in London.

Head coach Paul James praised the spirit of his players, saying: “London were very aggressive and got after us from the outset.

"We were down but we have been resilient all year and showed it again.

“We weathered the storm and clawed back the deficit. We did a great job to restrict them to only nine points in the final quarter while we kept scoring. Game on for Sunday.”

Worcester slept-walked to just a solitary score from the field in the opening six minutes, allowing their visitors to build a comfortable 18-5 advantage.

London’s command maximised at 32-15 early in the second quarter before the hosts' offence finally got into gear.

Guards George Marshall and Michael Ojo opened their scoring accounts while Trayvon Palmer and George Beamon pecked away at the basket.

Lions' Great Britain international Justin Robinson scooped up his side’s first eight points of the second half as they held serve at 60-45.

A trio of Beamon three-pointers had Wolves clinging to a 76-64 deficit as the last period commenced.

Ojo also connected from afar, London threw a possession out of bounds and the arrears were suddenly reduced to single figures.

With big men Dallin Bachynski and Robert Gilchrist now solidifying their positions under the hoop Lions’ scoring routes became blocked.

Beamon banked in another triple and Alex Navajas split a pair of free throws to nudge Wolves 82-81 ahead.

James called a time-out at 29 seconds remaining after Lions had regained an 85-82 edge.

From the restart Ojo brought a raucous home crowd to their feet with a solo drive and slam to leave the tie in the balance.

Beamon led Wolves’ scoring with 25 points supported by 14 from Palmer and 13 for Marshall.

The aggregate-score decider takes place at London’s Copper Box Arena, tipping off at 4pm.

James pledged that his team will be ready for another battle, saying: “We had the best of the match late on and need to carry that forward on Sunday.

“It was feisty. There was a lot of stuff going on out there under the basket but we fought through it.

“We want to be back here in Worcester for the next round. We’ll fight tooth and nail to make that happen.”