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Vanzant is confident of a victory in crucial clash

By David Kelly

Published 23/01/2016

Massive game: Shawn Vanzant believes his side can win
Massive game: Shawn Vanzant believes his side can win

American Shawn Vanzant says tonight's clash with Killester in the All Ireland Premier League is a "must-win" affair for Belfast Star.

Following last weekend's shock defeat at the hands of the Eagles, Vanzant and his team-mates know they need to respond with one of their best performances of the season in Dublin.

Vanzant admits that he felt personally responsible for the loss to the Limerick men and is adamant that he will come out firing on all cylinders against Killester as the race for the top four play-off slots starts to hot up.

Vanzant said: "I really felt I had to take some personal responsibility for the defeat to the Eagles because I didn't do my job. I have a leadership role at the club and I didn't do enough in the game - I had too many turnovers and just didn't perform the way I know I can.

"Now we face Killester and it's a must-win game. To really boost our top four hopes we need to go and get the win in Dublin and I believe we can.

"Although we lost last weekend, I feel that we have been playing our best basketball. For me the defeat to the Eagles was just a bump in the road - we know we can play much better than that."

Indeed, since coming to the Belfast club, Vanzant feels that the team have evolved throughout the campaign - and that includes himself.

"I wouldn't point to any one player, I think everyone has really come on. We have learned exactly what roles we have and what each player brings to the court so I'm feeling confident going into the last games of the regular season," added Vanzant.

"Personally, it took me a while to get used to the league. I was used to a more physical and quicker league so I had to get to know what the referees allowed and what they called you for."

As for the battle with Killester, he added: "It's going to be a tight match, that's what we're expecting but I know we can get the win."

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