Dustin Salisbery says that consistency and hard work will be key if he and his Cheshire Phoenix team-mates are to secure play-off glory come May.
Salisbery drained 23 points to end a two-game losing streak on the road for the Nix as they beat London Lions 94-82 to virtually assure themselves of fourth in the BBL Championship.
The 30-year-old guard, a former Temple University standout at NCAA college level, believes that the Nix will have to maintain a high level of performance for the remainder of the campaign if they are to have any chance of success and stopping Newcastle Eagles, who lifted the BBL Trophy with victory over Leicester Riders on Sunday, from making it a clean sweep of silverware.
Salisbery, who hails from Philadelphia, said: “Newcastle are a good team. When we played them they were better prepared than us, something that would never happen again.
“We have a good team as well but have to remain consistent and work hard every game for 40 mins. But I believe we will do well come play-off time.
“Everyone knows their roles. As long as we keep the ‘team first’ attitude, we will be a hard team to compete against.”
Salisbery, who played in the NBA D-League with the Delaware 86ers and Summer League with the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers, has been an excellent addition for John Coffino’s men since arriving in the UK following a stint in Iceland with UMFN Njardvik.
An off-guard by trade, he has taken on the role of point guard in the absence of the injured Mike DiNunno and established himself as a fans favourite.
Salisbery, who has paid professionally in Australia, Romania, France, Germany, Mexico and Greece, has two young sons back home in the US and says they provide him with all the motivation he needs to achieve his goals on the court.
“I have two sons that I miss very much,” said Salisbery, who along with club captain David Aliu is contracted to remain with the Nix until the end of next season.
“Their mother sacrifices a lot to take care of them while I’m gone and she does an excellent job.
“FaceTime really helps as well. I speak to them multiple times every day. They are my motivation. They love basketball and I’m just showing them what being dedicated is all about.”