Tajh Green has warned against complacency as a buoyant Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles look to bag back-to-back wins in Manchester.
Victory in this afternoon’s clash against the Giants will lift Marc Steutel’s men back into the top four of the British Basketball League Championship.
But Green insisted his former club will be no pushovers and feels Manchester can still play a big part in this season’s playoff shake-up.
“The Giants could still be dark horses this season,” said Newcastle’s all-action forward. “They have a talented team and we won’t be sleeping on them this weekend.
“The Giants can get hot on any night and I respect them like I respect any other team.
“I’ve played with some of those guys and I know the threat they carry. I know what they can bring to the table.”
Green spent Christmas back in Manchester with former team-mates and friends and the Giants is a franchise that remains close to his heart.
But there will be no place for sentiment when both sets of players cross the line come 3pm today.
“A lot of the stuff that went on at Manchester prepared me for my second year in the league,” he added.
“Manchester was a great experience, especially for my rookie year. It was a great environment for me in terms of adjusting to the league, figuring everything out and playing with new guys.
“My team-mates were fantastic and it was a great vibe. I loved my time there. It’s the same here but when it’s your rookie year that’s so important.”
Green knows where to look for Manchester’s potential threats and believes second bottom is a false position for the talented Giants.
“William Lee is a top scorer and a top rebounder and we need to watch him,” he added. “Nick Lewis is my boy and if his confidence is up then he can be really dangerous. We can’t allow him to get into any kind of rhythm.
“Keeping Legend Robertin off the rim has to be another focus. But we have to play our game and last the 40 minutes.”
The Eagles head to the North West full of confidence following a big win against Caledonia Gladiators on Friday night.
Rickey McGill led all scorers with 30 points and all five Newcastle starters bagged double-figure hauls in an impressive 105-93 victory.
Devin Whitfield returned from injury to deliver a three-minute cameo — meaning Will Neighbour is now Newcastle’s only absentee heading into the business end of the season.