Mike DiNunno believes Cheshire Phoenix can end the regular season on a high note and secure a top-three finish in the British Basketball League.
Former Eastern Kentucky University graduate DiNunno has been a key cog for head coach John Coffino’s men this season since joining the club in October, when he replaced Aleek Pauline as chief ball handler.
The Chicagoan has established himself as a fans’ favourite at the Northgate Arena and, with the club buoyed by Sunday’s demolition of Plymouth University Raiders , DiNunno believes Nix can make third place their own leading into the end-of-season play-offs.
“Right now we seem locked into fourth position but there are enough games left to push and sneak third, but as long as we don’t lose lose a bunch we pretty much know that four is where we are looking at,” said DiNunno.
DiNunno reserved special praise for the Phoenix faithful, stating the level of support has far exceeded anything he had experienced before as a professional.
He said: “The fans here in Cheshire have shown me a level of support that I haven’t gotten anywhere else as a pro.
“It’s fun coming out every night knowing that the fans show unwavering support and enjoy watching me play. Anytime someone shows appreciation for your abilities it’s very humbling and validating.”
DiNunno hasn’t ruled out returning for a second season in Cheshire should the opportunity present itself but says his sole focus is the BBL play-offs and shaking off a niggling injury that saw him sidelined for Sunday’s win over Plymouth.
“As of right now I’m just worrying about being ready for the play-offs and helping this team win,” he said.
“A return is always possible and no doubt I would definitely be interested but this is a business as well and sometimes things don’t always align as you would hope.
“I am just trying to find a home as a professional, somewhere I can be a piece to a winning puzzle and make a living doing it.”
The Nix travel to league leaders Newcastle Eagles on Friday before welcoming Surrey United, who have ex-Cheshire swingman Dominique Coleman in their ranks, to the Northgate on Sunday (5.30pm).