Swindon Shock secured back-to-back victories at the weekend to move just one win away from the end of season play-offs for the first time in the club’s history.
The successes, both on the road against Thames Valley Cavaliers and Oxford Stealers, saw Shock extend their superb winning run to five matches in EBL National Division 4.
Shock travelled to Thames Valley on Saturday and quickly took control of proceedings to lead by nine points at half-time despite having just seven players available.
But Swindon’s dominance was effectively wiped out in a shaky third quarter as Thames Valley bounced back to win it 26-17.
Both sides traded baskets early in the fourth quarter before Shock’s Matt Foord and Matt North made crucial shots to help Swindon secure a vital 79-71 league win.
Shock were back on the road again on Sunday as they travelled to Oxford Stealers with a full-strength side.
Swindon showed their play-off credentials in the opening quarter as they won it 16-4 after preventing Oxford from scoring for nearly six minutes.
The second quarter was a tighter affair though as Swindon’s star man Antonio Wilburn picked up his third foul.
But the Shock bench delivered in Wilburn’s absence, especially Dan Chambers who made three three-pointers as Swindon finished the quarter 37-25 ahead.
Swindon survived an Oxford comeback in the third to win it 23-18 before rounding off a 73-62 win in the final quarter.
Coach David Colclough was delighted with Shock’s weekend performance, saying: “We got some fresh legs back today (against Oxford) which we needed. Oxford are a physical team but I felt we matched them and got what we wanted on offence.
“Our ball movement has really improved. We know we’re a good defensive unit, but we ran hard and got points in transition. I’m so happy to complete a double weekend with two big wins.”
Player-coach Alex James was also delighted with the two wins, especially the performance at Thames Valley with just seven players.
“We made adjustments according to the personnel available (for the Thames Valley game),” said James.
“Seven players can work in your favour as everyone gets minutes on court.
“This game was a rearranged fixture and with a game on Sunday against Oxford too, this was a massive win.
“I am really proud of the way the guys listened and pushed the tempo when the opportunity arose and how we took our time to get good shots off.”
Swindon Shock now face Woking at Swindon Academy next Saturday knowing a victory will secure them a play-off berth. Tip off is 4pm and entry is free.