Simeon Naydenov says that he and his Cheshire Phoenix side have what it takes to lift the BBL Play-Off trophy come May.
The Nix assured themselves of their place in the post-season competition with victory over Surrey United on Sunday night.
Bulgarian guard Naydenov, a veteran of the side at 33, believes the Nix have all the necessary tools to make it to London’s O2 Arena for what looks set to be the biggest showpiece event in BBL history on May 10, with an anticipated 17,000 fans set to attend.
The Nix, who look set to finish in fourth spot, will have to traverse a tricky path to the final, but Naydenov, who played under lauded Hall of Fame coaches Rick Pitino and Denny Crum while at NCAA powerhouse University of Louisville (2000-2004), says destiny is in the hands of John Coffino’s charges.
“Going to the big final is the goal but it won’t be easy as the top three teams are pretty good themselves, but everything is in our hands,” said Naydenov, whose professional career has taken in spells in France, Bulgaria, Sweden, Montenegro, Egypt, Czech Republic, Israel and Italy.
“As individual talent from top to bottom we probably have the best roster in the BBL. I’ve played in many countries and teams and I can honestly say we have few guys who are in the prime of their pro careers that will progress and reach higher leagues in the future.
“Come play-off time it’s one game at a time, win or go home. But I believe we have the talent to reach London.”
Naydenov has had to settle for a bit-part role for Coffino’s men this season but says he is willing to accept whatever role best aids the Nix’s chances of silverware.
He said: “I feel more comfortable with my role on the team after few months of being a Phoenix member.
“I understand what’s asked and expected from me and I’m doing my best to help the team win every game. The adaptation period is over now it’s time to show that we can gel well as a team and make it to the finals.
“The last couple of games I’ve played with more confidence. I’m glad to do what’s necessary for the club to succeed and I’m satisfied with my role. It felt awesome when the fans were chanting my name the last match. I really appreciate all of the support of the ‘Nix Nation’ fans.”
The Nix play the first of their three games on the road this Friday when they face London Lions at the Copper Box Arena (7.30pm) before visiting Glasgow Rocks and Leicester Riders.