Brighton Bears have been told to forget about title talk as they go into the last nine games of the BBL season.

Bears will be favourites for a fourth successive win when Newcastle Eagles visit the Triangle on Sunday from 5pm.

Both teams are on course for the play-offs but Bears fans are dreaming of the southern conference crown after results went their way last weekend.

Bears trail leaders London Towers by four points and also have the inferior record in head-to-head meetings.

Coach Nick Nurse said: "Our biggest target is to make sure all our games are worth two points from now on.

"Talk of finishing top is a bit premature. If we win eight out of nine, that means we will need Towers to lose four, which I doubt they will do.

"Let's just play hard, take care of ourselves and get that second place."

Runners-up spot would ensure a bye in the first round of the play-offs and represent a major achievement for the club who completed a hat-trick of wooden spoons last season.

Newcastle's threats come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from 7ft1in England centre Ian Whyte, who grew up in Brighton, to quicksilver TJ Walker, widely reckoned to be one of the top three-point guards in the country.

Bears back court duo Mike Brown and Randy Duck plan to share responsibility for keeping Walker quiet and will be buoyed after their effective defensive job on Terrell Myers in the defeat of Towers.

Brown said: "It will be a good test for us. Randy and I will probably split duties on TJ. That's the way we like to do it."

Bears ended a run of nine straight defeats to the Eagles when they won in the north east just before Christmas.

Newcastle, who were in action against Edinburgh last night, have injury problems. Malcolm Leak is their main doubt while long-term absentee Fab Flournoy is almost certain to miss the match. Both have knee injuries.

Worthing Thunder continue their play-off push in the NBL conference when they host Kingston tomorrow (8pm).

It is also derby day in division two south as Brighton Cougars entertain Bognor Pirates at Portslade (7.30pm).