KIRK CRECCO is adamant Durham Wildcats head into their match-up against Manchester Giants full of confidence having racked up one of their most critical and positive results of the entire campaign.
Wildcats roared to a fine 89-66 victory over Plymouth University Raiders with a brutal final quarter assault on their opponents, and Crecco feels it can be a catalyst for further success with the post-season play-offs on the horizon and a double-header weekend at home to Manchester tonight then away at Glasgow Rocks on Sunday.
"I think our win over the Raiders was one of the most important wins of the season for us," said Crecco. "It gave us the season series 2-1, something which will help us in trying to achieve a better position for the play-offs.
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"It was also great to see the team put together a really solid second half and go on the kind of run that we did - it was definitely a confidence boost."
And, the guard is now demanding Wildcats rise to the challenge when they resume their rivalry with another key play-off rival, having not really showed up the last time they clashed with Giants.
He said: "Our game with Manchester is another important one and I feel like all the games we have at this point in the season are really important to every team, because they will determine who makes the play-offs and who doesn't.
"Manchester played very well last time we saw them and we will have to put together a better effort this time around if we are going to compete with them.
"They have a lot of weapons offensively and are a dangerous team when they are on.
"It should make for an exciting game for our fans and there is a lot at stake.”
On the Glasgow game, Crecco said: “Our game with Glasgow will be another very important game as the play-off race continues to get closer.
“The last time we played them, we didn't have our best performance and credit goes to them for disrupting our rhythm. Hopefully this time around we can play faster and disrupt some of the things they try to do offensively.
“We need to limit their easy scores inside, but be able to get out to their shooters at the same time."
Durham face Manchester at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre tonight, tip-off 7pm. For ticket information, visit godurhamwildcats.com