National Trophy preview: Four teams look to remain unbeaten
The National Trophy continues this weekend with five games on Saturday.
Medway Park Crusaders v Hemel Storm
Saturday 6 October, 5:15pm, Medway Park
Hemel Storm will aim to continue their unbeaten start to the season as they travel to Kent to face Medway Park Crusaders.
Crusaders are 1-1 in Trophy play having defeated Worthing, but lost to Essex Leopards and will hope that their first home game of the season will bring them above .500.
So far in the Trophy Hemel have defeated the three sides in Pool 1 that are yet to win a game between them, so Saturday's game promises to be their sternest test to date.
Tees Valley Mohawks v Worthing Thunder
Saturday 6 October, 5pm, University of Teesside
Tees Valley Mohawks will seek to contintue their strong start to the season on Saturday as the host a Worthing Thunder side making the long trip to Middlesbrough.
With Mohawks yet to taste defeat on the season and Thunder losing twice in the Trophy so far, Tees Valley will be strong favourites before tip, but coach Steve Butler is wary of the threat posed by Thunder:
"Last season Hank Rivers played against us twice and destroyed our team, In one game he got 35 points and 25 rebounds which is incredible. I know Worthing have been inconsistent to start the season, but every game they seem to be improving and with Hank Rivers in your team then you never know what can happen. I know Coach Hildreth will have them playing uptempo basketball and working hard for each other."
Bristol Academy Flyers v Reading Rockets
Saturday 6 October, 7pm, SGS College
Bristol Academy Flyers and Reading Rockets clash on Saturday on the west coast with Flyers looking to remain unbeaten and Rockets searching for their first Trophy win of the season.
The teams met three times last season, including in the quarter finals of the Division 1 playoffs, which Bristol won 71-52 to clinch the season series 2-1.
Rockets began their campaign last week with a 65-44 loss to Team Northumbria and coach Samit Nuruzade is looking for improvement from his men: "I was disappointed with Sunday's loss because we never really got going and didn't play anywhere near how we should have. Of course scoring only 44 points is a problem, but it is still very early in the season and we have a little bit of time to address this and naturally it is something that we will be looking at in practice this week.
"We are still integrating our new players and trying to find an identity to our team and this will take a lot of hard work from everyone involved to achieve this and certainly is our first challenge. We have an opportunity to take some steps forward this weekend when we visit Bristol who are one of the best teams in the league in my opinion so it will be a good test for us, something we need every week."
Young point guard Luke Nelson missed both of last weekend's games due to international visits but will return for Rockets this weekend which will be a major boost to Coach Nuruzade's preparations.
Bradford Dragons v Team Northumbria
Saturday 6 October, 6:15pm, Bradford College
Before taking to the court in our Game of the Week
, Bradford Dragons will look to continue their unbeaten start to the season as they host Team Northumbria.
Northumbria's win over Reading last weekend opened their Trophy account after losses to Bristol and Derby and they will be planning on evening their tournament win-loss record this weekend in West Yorkshire.
Bradford coach Chris Mellor joined the list of Division 1 coaches that had praise for Marc Steutel and his program at Northumbria: "They are much more together as a group under his guidance with a tougher mentality and a high emphasis on the defensive end of the floor. I can see them doing really well this season in Division 1."
Leeds Carnegie v Westminster Warriors
Saturday 6 October, 6pm, Leeds Metropolitan University
One team will pick up their first Trophy win of the season as Leeds Carnegie host Westminster Warriors on Saturday evening.
Leeds have suffered an overtime loss to Bristol and a one point loss to Bradford, and will face another tough encounter against a Warriors team that has lost to Derby by seven and Bradford by four.
Carnegie won both Division 1 fixtures between the pair by five points last season, but it was Warriors who took the spoils in their Trophy pool clash with an 86-77 win in London.