WORCESTER Wolves gave themselves a major boost ahead of tomorrow’s critical BBL Trophy semi-final decider at Sheffield Sharks by trouncing London Lions in the nation’s capital last night.

Wolves’ 97-85 victory propels them above Lions into fourth place in the British Basketball League, their highest position in the table so far this season.

With starting centre Dallin Bachynski still absent and with other big men Robert Gilchrist and Alex Navajas accumulating fouls, head coach Paul James was forced to field a smaller than usual line-up for large parts of the game.

However, what could have been a handicap instead became a boon as Worcester turned to their outside shooters to torch London for a highly-impressive 17 three-pointers from 27 attempts.

James delighted in giving praise to his team, saying: “That was a fantastic display.

"Although we were six points ahead at half-time I still felt we were playing within ourselves.

"During the break we talked about getting out of our comfort zone and then went on to break the match open with a great third quarter.

“We moved the ball around really well and kept finding the open man.

"Our confidence kept building. I’m proud of the players for getting the job done.”

Wolves’ long-range barrage began early with successes for Trayvon Palmer and Elvisi Dusha.

George Beamon’s initial touch resulted in a rare four-point play as he was impeded in the act of shooting long.

Brandon Parrish sank the first of his five triples of the night but then had to take a seat on the bench after collecting his third foul.

Wolves edged 24-23 in front as the second quarter opened.

Gilchrist laid on a double of clever passes for Navajas to convert and received his own assist from Palmer for a crowd-pleasing alley-oop.

Another Gilchrist basket extended the lead to 56-48 in the first minute of the second half but his third and fourth fouls in quick succession threatened Worcester’s rhythm.

Parrish returned to the action in fine fashion, rattling home a quartet of scores.

Palmer continued to take deadly aim and Michael Ojo also accepted an invitation to the long-range party.

A pleasing 78-67 third-period advantage was maintained over the remainder of the evening as a deflated London were kept comfortably at bay.

Palmer and Parrish led the way for Worcester with 26 and 19 points respectively.

Beamon and Ojo tallied 13 apiece closely followed by Navajas on 12 and Gilchrist with 11.

Wolves now turn their attention towards tomorrow’s trip to Sheffield (4pm) before returning to the University of Worcester Arena on Friday, February 16, to face third-placed Glasgow Rocks.

“I’m really pleased about the determination and belief the players are showing. We’re likely to go with the same seven players in Sheffield,” added James.

“We’re going to rest and rehydrate. We know what we have to do. We have to battle hard and must make sure we crash the boards.

“I’m sure we’ll have another big bunch of fans travelling up there with us. If they can come out, be loud and stay with us throughout the game we’ll do our utmost to make another final.”