From his surprise unveiling at Braehead Arena to almost a decade on from his initial appointment in charge of Glasgow Rocks, Sterling Davis has felt the polarised extremities of triumph and adversity, sometimes from season to season, frequently even from game to game.

Tonight will mark the 400th time he has led the Scots into the fray, yet to land a trophy but much more able a coach now than he was then. “It definitely doesn’t feel like yesterday,” he confirmed. “I don’t feel all 400 but it has been a long road to now.”

Even the current campaign has been a mish-mash of highs and lows, a club-record game winning streak, followed by a slump that included defeat in the BBL Cup final, then a brief revival but now another stretch of losses that has reached five heading into a visit to a Sheffield Sharks side that has now overtaken Glasgow to claim third spot in the British Basketball League standings as the campaign enters its final three weeks.

With fifth-placed Worcester arriving at the Emirates Arena on Sunday, Davis is all too aware of the pressing need to stem the bleeding and speedily recover. “It’s a huge game, for where we are and where Sheffield is within the top four. There’s a lot of big games coming up and so getting the head to head tiebreaker over them is definitely something you want. It may come into play. Three to five are so close now and you’ve got Worcester playing well now also and in a position to sneak up.”

Yet he retains the utmost faith in his current squad. Bedevilled by the injuries that have effectively ended the seasons of North American imports Jordan Clarke and Anthony Elechi, he will likely be without Great Britain internationalist Gareth Murray for the weekend with a back complaint rendering him “questionable.”

At full complement, Davis views the 2017 version of the Rocks as perhaps the finest collective of his tenure. “This group is very intelligent in the way they play together so it’s probably the best team I’ve had. But it’s very tight with the 2009 team that featured Jesse Sapp. We had a lot of depth then and some great scorers but marginally, I think this line-up is better. They really want to focus on reaching their goals.”

Short-handed, they inevitably remain vulnerable. The potential importance of finishing third when the playoff seedings are set will surely be on the minds of Glasgow, Sheffield and Worcester, who host second-placed Newcastle this evening. “If we’re at full strength by the playoffs, I still see us pushing for the final,” Davis affirmed. “But it’s important we get people ready.”

Meanwhile, The Herald has learnt that Europe’s top referees, including several who worked at last summer’s Olympic Games, face exclusion from officiating international fixtures, including September’s EuroBasket finals. It comes amid a continued dispute between world governing body FIBA and the Euroleague – run by the leading clubs. The latter’s refs, it is understood, will be barred from presiding over national team games as the battle for control intensifies.

FIXTURES. FRIDAY. BBL (7.30). Sheffield Sharks v Glasgow Rocks, Leeds Force v Manchester Giants, Plymouth Raiders v Cheshire Phoenix, Worcester Wolves v Newcastle Eagles