Cheshire Phoenix lost their BBL Cup final dress rehearsal as they went down 97-90 at home to Worcester Wolves in the BBL Trophy on Sunday night.
The two teams will meet again in the Cup showpiece at the Arena Birmingham on Sunday, January 28.
And the Wolves will go in that massive match with a possible early psychological advantage after edging a closely-fought Trophy quarter-final.
The last-eight tie was back and fourth for much of the opening three quarters.
The Nix, who were missing captain Orlan Jackman, led 24-22 after the first and 41-40 after the second.
But they trailed by four points (63-67) going into the final passage of play.
And it was during the fourth quarter that the Wolves truly made their move.
Led by Alejandro Navajas, who posted a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, Mike Oho (19 points) and Dallin Bachynski (16), they put together a crucial 10-2 late on.
CJ Gettys grabbed a monster double-double for the Nix.
Gettys scored 31 points and made 15 rebounds as he continued the fantastic form that has seen him win the Molten BBL Player of the Month awards for November and December.
It was Cheshire's second defeat of the weekend.
On Friday night Ben Thomas' team's four-match winning run in the BBL Championship came to an end as they were beaten 86-81 at London Lions.
It was a case of sweet revenge for the Lions after they lost their two-legged BBL Cup semi-final to the Nix before Christmas.
But, having led 64-51 at the end of the third quarter, London had to withstand a huge late fightback.
With the excellent Robert Sandoval (22), Raheem May-Thompson (19) and Gettys (14) doing most of the damage, Cheshire wiped out a double-figure deficit to go 78-76 in front with a couple of minutes to play.
But a bi triple from veteran Paul Guede gave the Lions the lead again and it proved to be a momentum shifter.
The loss left the Nix eighth in the Championship standings.