Cheshire Phoenix head coach John Lavery is relishing this weekend’s mouth-watering clash with BBL pace-setters Worcester Wolves.
Nix saw a seven-game winning streak ended at Newcastle Eagles last Friday but responded in perfect style with a thrilling win over reigning league champions Leicester Riders in the BBL Trophy.
Lavery’s side now face a trip to the table-topping Wolves, who have not lost since November 22, tomorrow (7.30pm) before hosting Manchester Giants on Sunday (5.3pm).
“It’s going to be tough against the Wolves but if we are going to progress up the league then we are going to have to go and play in these kind of games,” said Lavery.
“We should have come away with the win when we played them earlier in the season but we are a totally different unit now and we are looking forward to the challenge.”
An excellent run of form has seen Nix climb up to seventh in the table, although that run came to an end with a 103-100 defeat at Newcastle.
Lavery said: “We went up there on Friday night and it’s a tough place to go and get a win.
“Newcastle are a quality team and a great organisation who have won a vast amount of trophies.”
Reggie Middleton produced an outstanding individual display and finished the game with 39 points but even that was not enough for the Nix.
“We were confident because we are playing some really good basketball at the moment,” said Lavery.
“We got our noses in front near the end and it went right down to the wire but we just couldn’t get over that bump.”
Lavery told his players not to dwell on the loss and was thrilled with the response 48 hours later as Nix beat Leicester 86-78 at the Northgate Arena to move into the BBL Cup quarter finals, where they have been drawn against EBL side Bristol Academy Flyers.
Lavery said: “It was disappointing not to get the win at Newcastle but we told the guys that we had to put it behind us and look forward to the Leicester game and play that hard again and that’s exactly what we did so that was pleasing.
“We stuck to our game plan early on but we changed a few things up defensively at half time because we were behind.
“I said to the guys at the break that it didn’t matter what the score was and what mattered was what the score said at the end of the fourth quarter. The changes worked for us and we came out strong in the third and fourth quarters and it was a great night.”