Wildcats aim to maintain their form

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Writer/Sub-Editor

AFTER his side’s best weekend in their history as a BBL club, Durham Wildcats’ guard Keith Page hopes they can continue their winning record this weekend.

Wildcats return to action tonight when they travel to One Health Sheffield Sharks for another key match-up with play-off implications, before hosting BBL Championship leaders Newcastle Eagles on Sunday, and Page is convinced the Wildcats will be on top of their game this weekend.

“It was a really big weekend, and I’m really chuffed”

said Page after Wildcats won 98-81 at UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders on Friday and 94-82 at Cheshire Phoenix two days later.

“We were pretty fired up at Plymouth having lost to them up here, so it was a bit of a revenge match for us. That game was on TV as well and we wanted to compete and show that they’re not 40 points better than us. It was a great result.

“We’re basically running a six-man rotation at the moment, and everyone played very well. We did a really good job of moving the ball and getting open shots. Once Brad [Guinane] got going we used him well and opened them up inside. We had some really good defence and that was probably our best game of season.”

Page believes that the University side’s midweek success can be a catalyst for the senior side.

“I said to Dave [Elderkin, coach] that we’re on our longest winning streak in BBL franchise history,” he said.

“We won the University Premier Division on Wednesday, and we’re playing well as a team. It’s motivating to know we’re in the hunt for the playoffs, we were running teams close but not getting wins, so it’s good that we’re more confident.

We’re all on the same page, and it’s fingers crossed that we can keep it going.

“We were all buzzing after the Plymouth game but we immediately focused on the Cheshire game as that was our biggest one of the weekend.

“They’re above us but they’ve got a tough schedule coming up and it was important to win the head-to-head.

We’ve now got a good shot at getting in the play-offs, and I think it might come down to the final week.

“Mike [Baldareli] really played well in the second half against Cheshire when he came out and made some big shots. Andrew [Kiester] was massive over the weekend and was an animal on the boards, while Ralph [Bucci] is the rock for our team, he’s so consistent.”

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