Manchester Giants have one last shot at securing a play-off position this weekend in their make or break double-header, starting tonight against Cheshire Phoenix.
Blood, sweat and tears are expected in this crucial northwest derby as both teams head to the Wright Robinson College needing the two points.
With no room for error, experienced Giants star David Aliu believes his side have no choice but to pull together, give it their all and get the win.
“It means a lot to us. It’s a massive game for both sides driving for the play-offs and we really have to make a big push,” the forward said.
“Losing is not an option, it is a must need win for us.”
After two losses last weekend and the departure of Nick George from the side, Aliu knows the BBL-new-boys have a difficult battle ahead.
“It was a great team effort against Leicester Riders and we just have to continue with that,” he said.
“The departure of Nick is a huge loss, his energy and enthusiasm was contagious and really helped us play hard.
“It is a situation that has happened now and can’t be changed so us as a team need to just push on together.”
Centre Mike Bernard believes 11th placed Giants have no choice but to focus on the task in hand and take each game as it comes.
“The game tonight is a must win. The way to bounce back from two losses is to go out this weekend and win both,” he said.
“We have to play our game and try and stop Chez Marks from scoring as much as he does.”
With the head-to-head decider up for grabs and not much to choose between the two teams, Aliu is hoping he can bring the team together to ensure success.
“It’s tough to call the differences between us and Cheshire but I think it’s going to simply boil down to who wants it the most,” the 32-year-old said.
“I personally need to keep all the team together on the same page and continue to play hard and do all the little things that make us successful.”
Giants’ will then have to focus their attention to Sunday’s fixture, which sees them head down south to play eighth-place London Lions.
Tip-off is at 7.30pm at the Wright Robinson College, Gorton.