Belfast Star coach Adrian Fulton has hailed hot shot Delaney Blaylock as "the perfect American" ahead of his side's away clash with Maree in the All Ireland Superleague.
Star travel to Maree sitting joint top of the league with Tralee, while third-placed Eanna have a game in hand which could see them make it a three-way tie at the summit. With little room for error, Fulton knows that his side need Blaylock to continue the electrifying form that led to him being voted the December Player of the Month.
"It's going to be a dog-fight in Maree, that's for sure and our guys had better be ready for it. It's a tough place to play and they have been in good form and of course we will be looking for Delaney to maintain his great form," said Fulton.
"Since he has returned to full fitness Delaney has been great and he thoroughly deserved the Player of the Month award. He really is looking like the perfect American player for this league. He gets points you need, rebounds at both ends of the court and there are times when he is simply unplayable.
"I've seen Delaney in games when he is faced with a side that is playing some really good defence and looks like there is no way through and then he produces something that just makes you go 'wow'. There's not too many players like that and he is a very good team player.
"He doesn't mind if he has to be part of a real war, he rises to the occasion and that's what you need when you are fighting for the title."
With a third of the season remaining, every game is critical for Star with so many teams still in the hunt for the Superleague crown but Fulton admits he does feel this clash with Maree is of particular importance.
Fulton added: "The lads have shown greater resilience this season, winning games they may not have won last year, and this one is going to be another big test of character in the Maree gym.
"I really do feel that if we can get a win here it will leave us with a great platform to really fight for the title. To get that win we're going to need a lot of big performances, particularly defensively from the likes of Liam Pettigrew and Keelan Cairns."