Worcester Wolves kept their grip on third position in National Basketball League Division Two after seeing off Bristol Basketball United 70-59 at the University of Worcester Arena on Friday.

Wolves edged 20-19 ahead after ten minutes of play and did just enough to keep their visitors at bay for the rest of the evening.

“I’m a little disappointed that we haven’t played up to our best, but then I’m happy that we ultimately got the win,” said Wolves coach Dean Blake.

Bristol took the opening two scores of the match before Lucas McGregor set up Matei Balteanu and the Romanian forward stole the ball and grabbed a lay up to overturn the lead.

Balteanu spurned a couple of free throws but then reversed his form by making two from two to nudge Worcester in front entering the second quarter.

Liam Langridge-Barker stepped on to the court to nail a three-pointer with his first touch of the ball.

Evan Longman hustled to a put-back from an offensive rebound and handed off to Langridge-Barker for another basket and a 29-23 advantage.

Ian Vivero-Rodriguez netted seven swift points for a 36-25 home half-time lead.

Vivero-Rodriguez continued to connect after the interval while Balteanu now had his way close to the hoop as Wolves threatened to run away with the match, 57-45 to the good as the third period ended.

However, Bristol refused to be put down. Ryan Robinson flexed his muscles in front of the Worcester bench after his powerful drive and a follow-up dunk kept his side alive, trailing just 65-57 with three minutes remaining.

With scant offensive output coming from any other direction, Wilfrid Santhe took it upon himself to produce a late trio of dribble-drives around defenders to notch the win.

Vivero-Rodriguez and Balteanu led the scoring with 23 and 18 points respectively. Humberto Ferreira gained several second chances for his team by pulling down an impressive 14 rebounds.

Wolves will look to seal a top-four playoff place on the road next weekend, travelling to eleventh-placed Charnwood Riders on Sunday 12 March for a midday tip off.

“Charnwood will want to show that they still belong in this league. We need to be ready from the get-go,” added Blake.