LEE DAVIE felt Durham Wildcats took a step in the right direction despite defeat to Cheshire Phoenix last weekend – but they will have to take a further stride if they are to beat in-form Manchester Giants on Sunday.

Wildcats were eventually edged 83-79 last Sunday as they slipped to 3-5 for the season, but Davie could see progress.

“We took a lot of positive steps in Sunday's game,” said Davie. “We had a strong showing from our front line of Fran Urli, John Puk and Joel Madourie at both ends of the floor. Defensively I thought it was the most we've been locked in this season.”

Giants appear to have been locked in since the opening tip of the season and enter the weekend on a three-game winning streak following last weekend’s triumph against Plymouth Raiders.

That success saw the Manchester club improve to a 5-3 record, good enough for fourth spot in the table.

Giants coach Jeff Jones and his squad have also been boosted by the return of big man Mike Bernard, offering the inside presence to go with an outside threat that Davie will be wary of come Sunday.

Davie added: “Manchester have picked up where they left off last season. They play some great team basketball, sharing the ball really well.

“The three-point shot factors heavily into what they try and do as a team.

“They've had some games where they've shot really well and shocked some teams and blown teams out.

“They've also had games where they've shot really well just to be in games and even lost to Sheffield badly shooting really good from three.

“We've got to stay locked in defensively and take all the easy shots away, as we try with every team.

“We need to force them into difficult shots each possession and limit them to one shot and done.”

Tip-off is 4pm, for information about tickets visit www.godurhamwildcats.com.