BIG Storage Cheshire Jets lock horns with Sheffield Sharks on Sunday in a clash which will have a big bearing on who grabs the final play-off place (5.30pm).
Jets occupy the eighth and final play-off spot, but the Sharks are biting at their heels – a win behind in ninth but with a game in hand.
Sharks ran out comfortable 109-78 winners when the sides met in Sheffield, but Jets levelled the series in November thanks to a 86-82 victory.
It all means winner of Sunday's game will have the advantage should the teams finish level on wins at the end of the regular season.
Jets head coach Paul Smith says his players are ready for the Northgate Arena showdown.
He said: "They've had a similar season to us, with some ups and downs but seem to be finding some consistency at the right time.
“They play excellent team defence and use their size very well.
“They are one of the teams who are capable of beating anyone on their day and can have a different high scorer each game.
“With Sheffield we have to prepare for the whole team not any one individual."
Jets suffered their second defeat within a week against Newcastle Eagles last Friday, but bounced back last Sunday with a narrow victory over Marshall MK Lions.
"It was a very tough game with both teams playing hard throughout,” said Smith.
“It was a game of runs and we're just grateful we had the final one. "
Smith refused to be too despondent after the Newcastle loss, adding: “We played better than the week before.
“We took care of the ball but couldn't make our shots. At the other end they shot the ball very well. All of the guys put the effort in but nobody had a particularly good game. "
Sharks player-coach Atiba Lyons is ready for a tough game on Sunday and paid tribute to the depth of the Jets squad.
He said: "Cheshire are playing pretty well at the moment.
“They took a big hit when Chez Marks went down, but with the depth and experience, they have been able to win some big games.
“Shawn Myers hits big shots at crucial moments for them.”