TCS Chester Jets go into the quarter-finals of the BBL Championship Play-offs this weekend believing they have hit form at the right time.
Despite three successive victories, they just failed to secure a top-four place in the league table which would have earned them a home tie. Instead, they travel to Glasgow on Sunday to take on holders Scottish Rocks (5pm). But with all their injury worries behind them, the Jets are confident of going on to the semi-final and final weekend at the NIA in Birmingham on May 1 and 2.
They are the only away play-off team to have won more games than they've lost with their opponents
this weekend, having beaten Rocks in three of their five outings this season.
'All our games have been pretty close, other than the one when they really gave us a good pasting at the Northgate,' said coach Paul Smith.
'Both games up there were one-shot games - it's two really well-matched teams. We are playing very well right now and seem to be peaking at the right time.'
These sides met at this stage last season with the Rocks winning away from home on their way to Playoff glory, but Smith reckons that game will have no bearing on this. 'I think it's probably ancient history, especially given that half the team that beat us last year are playing for us now,' he said.
Both coaches point to the match-up between John McCord and Jerry Williams as a key factor in the game. 'I think we've got to start our concerns with John McCord,' said Rocks coach Steve Swanson.
'I talk to a lot of coaches and he's one of those guys who can play really average and get 20 points. You can feel like you did a pretty good job on him and he still gets 25 on you.
'He's got to be our number one concern, but that's a tough one to call because they have so many other offensive weapons.'
Having seen his side hang on to their Trophy crown this season, Smith reckons the Rocks will be motivated by other factors rather than simply trying to defend their play-off title.
'I think what would be their main drive is that they've come so close in all the others,' he said. 'They've had an outstanding season, they finished fourth in the League but were pushing for second until the last weekend, reached the semis in the Trophy and were runners-up in the Cup.
'With a new coach and almost a new team, they've performed fantastically and consistently throughout the season, but they've got no silverware and I would imagine that would be a demon driver for them in the play-offs.'