CHESHIRE PHOENIX coach Ben Thomas hailed a ‘brilliant’ performance from Dii’Jon Allen-Jordan in his side’s 88-82 home victory over London City Royals.

An injury-doubt before the game, Allen-Jordan led his depleted side with a fine individual display that helped the Nix climb to sixth in the BBL Championship standings.

And Thomas was quick to praise the American forward, who top-scored in the contest with a 26-point haul, plus three assists and four steals.

The Nix coach said: “Dii’Jon’s such a strong competitor. He was a real doubt before the game and was working with the physios in the week leading into the game, just doing reduced sessions and some light running.

“After missing the last few games I think that just fuelled the fire because he was desperate to get back on the court again. But he has that hunger about him - a real will to win - and you could see that he was in the mood right from the get-go - he was brilliant.

“We were low on numbers and down to the bare bones in terms of availability with a team that was just six players deep. Going up against a London side that has one of the deepest benches in terms of quality was a big ask so it felt like it was a massive win for us.”

The Nix put a losing February behind them with a vital victory over their play-off rivals.

The home side trailed by nine at the end of the first, but wiped out that deficit with a 9-0 start to the second and they put up 29 points in the quarter to open up a lead at the half.

Cheshire had a 79-69 advantage inside the final three minutes before the Royals closed to within four, but Momcilo Latinovic hit a big three as his side closed out the win.

Daniel Norl and CJ Gettys both impressed for the hosts too, amassing 21 and 16 points respectively.

Victory also ensured that the Nix now boast a head-to-head advantage over the Royals, a factor Thomas believes could prove crucial in the run-in.

“Our head to head record is really important this season,” he added.

“There’ so much competition for the play-off positions and the slightest advantage could make all the difference.”

“Our playing record is identical to Plymouth Raiders, but we’re just above them now because of our record against them this season.

"We’ve got to keep trying to pick up doubles over these teams give ourselves every chance of making it.”