RALPH BUCCI produced the late-game heroics to lift Durham Wildcats above Manchester Giants last weekend, but his contributions behind the scenes are just as important, according to coach Lee Davie.

Bucci’s effort from beyond the arc halted Wildcats’ three-game slide and handed them a real boost heading into Sunday's game against London Lions, after they faced Leeds on Friday night.

But the point guard’s impact on Wildcats is ever-present and a driving force behind the club’s competitiveness.

“I can’t say enough about the guy, on and off the court he is a huge part of club,” said Davie.

“He's a true professional in everything that he does. Because of the high turnover of players we have year-on-year we can take time for everyone to get on the same page, having Ralph out there steadies the ship, giving guys someone to lean on while we go through our growing pains.

“He just goes out there week after week doing what ever we need for us to compete and win.”

Davie recognises that Bucci and Chris Jones have seen a lot of court time already this year, and while confident they can handle it he feels this will not be the case as the season progresses.

“I don’t plan for their high minutes to be like this all season,” he said. “But now as we are short-handed with players I need to put the guys out there who know and can do their roles. I know Ralph and Chris can take on this kind of workload. Ralph is in great shape and Chris is an energetic freak. Still, I know not to put my players in any danger that will come back to haunt them and us later in the season.”

Tip-off on Sunday is 4pm at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre. For ticket information, visit godurhamwildcats.com