Devan Bailey believes it is vital for the Cheshire Phoenix to finish their regular season with a flourish in order to go into the end-of-season BBL play-offs in fine fettle.
Bailey, 24, was a key figure as the Nix claimed a priceless double triumph over the London Lions at the weekend to leapfrog them into fifth place.
The former Helsby High School pupil, who spent two years playing college basketball at Central Connecticut State in America, believes that keeping the momentum going will be key to the Nix enjoying success in the play-offs.
“It was great to get the two victories and the guys all did really well against a tough side,” said Bailey, who weighed in with 11 points in both games.
“We are hoping that we can go on a nice run for the last part of the season so we can get the wins to secure fifth place and get a favourable draw in the play-offs.
“When you go into the play-offs you want to be going in on the back of a good run so that you can approach it with some confidence and some good form.”
Despite enjoying a successful weekend on the court, Bailey was forced to withdraw early from proceedings following a shoulder injury.
“It was pretty painful and the doctors didn’t really know what exactly was wrong with it and told me to see a physio,” said Great Britain international Bailey, who joined the Nix back in November 2013 having previously turned out for the Mersey Tigers and Manchester Giants.
“I came off the boards and crashed my shoulder and I felt something pop.
“It was bad at the time but it feels a lot better now and, hopefully, I’ll be able to get back on the court pretty quickly.”
While Bailey will be looking to shake off his injury quickly, he praised the returning Reggie Middleton, who was back on the floor for the Nix double triumph over the Lions.
“We haven’t got a particularly deep squad so we miss players when they aren’t available,” said Bailey.
“Reggie is our captain and he runs the ball really well and keeps things ticking for us.
“Everyone is more comfortable when he is on the floor and it is so much better when he is in the side as he is such a good player and will be key for us for the rest of the season.”