IT MAY only be October but Durham Wildcats and Manchester Giants know Sunday’s meeting could have a big impact on where they end up in April.

Both teams squeezed into the BBL play-offs last term by virtue of their superior head-to-head record against Plymouth Raiders, who finished with the same points total.

Wildcats’ latest campaign received a boost last weekend as they beat Raiders and Bristol Flyers, and they will aim to build on that against their play-off rivals on Sunday.

“We need kick on from last weekend’s successes and take this must-win game for us in the hunt for a play-off spot in April,” said Durham coach Lee Davie.

“Manchester have made a few changes from last season’s squad but still have a very explosive offence that rely heavily on the three-point shot.

“We need to get back in transition, taking away the open three-point shot as we get back.

"Then once we’re back we need to keep out of rotations and always be in a position where we can always contest shots and box out.”

Aiding them to that end is former Glasgow Rock Fran Urli.

The Croatian signed up last week and made an instant impact scoring 11 and 15 points in the two games, as well as making key contributions on the defensive end – something that could be key against Manchester.

“Fran gives us another big physical body at both ends of the floor,” added Davie.

“He made timely baskets in both games last weekend, he hit some big threes and also had a big ‘and-one’ in the Plymouth game.

“Defensively he gives us the option of going big alongside John Puk or we can go with a lone big and maintain a high-tempo style with Joel Madourie and Odi Attah.”

Tip-off at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre is 4pm, for ticket information visit