PREVIEW - Bristol and Anglia Ruskin face off at the top of the WNBL!

NBL Division One

Leicester Warriors vs Bradford Dragons

Saturday 17 November 2018 - 3.00pm

Live Stats

A disappointing result on the road last weekend at Thames Valley saw them fall to 1-5 on the season and in need of a result to pick up their fortunes. Winless since a victory in their league opener against the Manchester Magic, Coach Karl Brown's side have faced a tough run of games, and they don't get much tougher than a visit from the high-tempo Bradford Dragons. Despite the loss last weekend, Coach Brown can be pleased with a balanced attack, as four players hit double figures - paced by 17 points from Lamin Willan.

Bradford got back to winning ways last weekend with a road win over Hemel Storm; a triumph that they will hope to repeat in this one. The West Yorkshire side put an end to a three-game skid to improve to 4-3 and into fifth place in the standings. A win here against the second-from-bottom Warriors would see Bradford put pressure on the leading pack once again. Coach Chris Mellor's got excellent production from his stars last weekend despite the absence of Drexler Clark (injury), as Andreas Lycoudis paced the effort with 25 points. Jermayne Laing added 22 points, while Ricky Fetske had 18 and Rihards Sulcs chipped in 17.


Thames Valley Cavaliers vs Team Newcastle 

Saturday 17 November 2018 - 6.00pm

Live Stats

A commanding victory for the Cavaliers last time out against Leicester paved the way for them to improve to 3-2 and rise to the seventh spot in the standings. Coach Robert Banks' side set their stall out early on and built a comfortable lead against the Warriors, never looking back as they strolled to victory. Walid Mumuni came off the bench for Coach Banks to pace the Cavs with 18 points, while Martelle McLemore led the starters with 16. Aiden Saunders chipped in 15 points, and Abdoulaye Sylla rounded out the double figure scorers with 13. 

Meanwhile, last weekend saw Team Newcastle visit Manchester Magic for the second time this season, after a thrilling overtime win in the National Trophy. Unfortunately, the North East side were not able to repeat their triumph, but did put on a captivating show for the fans at the Manchester Basketball Centre. The Magic trailed for much of the contest, before taking the lead in the final three minutes; a lead that they would hold until the final buzzer for a narrow one point win. Tosan Evbuomwan continued his impressive play as he led Coach Ian Hewitt's side with 21 points, while Onyekachi Nzerem chipped in 16. 


Manchester Magic vs Loughborough Riders

Saturday 17 November 2018 - 6.30pm

Live Stats

A potentially busy double-header home stand for the Magic was cut short on Saturday evening as a broken down minibus stopped play with Barking Abbey stranded on the M6. The Magic rested up and were back in action on Sunday evening, grabbing a narrow one point win over Team Newcastle; Manchester's first league win of the season (1-4) which got them off the foot of the standings. Josh Houghton paced the Magic with 24 points, while Coach Aurimas Verbukas' side got support from Richard Bell who chipped in a 10 point, 10 rebound double-double off the bench. 

The Loughborough Riders will head into this one well rested after a weekend off, with their last action coming on the road at Barking Abbey a fortnight ago. The Riders grabbed a routine win in that one to improve to 3-2, as the reigning league champions hover in sixth place after a mixed start to the season. The East Midlands' will hope to put in a good performance in this one, with some intriguing match-ups that will see Jonathan Barnes battle with Hosana Kitenge around the rim, while the Magic back-court of Kayin Darbey and Josh Houghton try to slow down Reis Pinnock and Alex Roberts. 


 Derby Trailblazers vs  Nottingham McDonald's Hoods 

Saturday 17 November 2018 - 7.15pm

Live Stats

Derby Trailblazers' unbeaten run to start the season came to end at the hands of league-leading Team Solent Kestrels, as Coach Matt Shaw's side had their five game winning streak cut short to drop to 5-1. Unable to get things going on the offensive end, the Blazers limped to just 56 points on the night, a season low tally. It was evident that the Kestrels had done their homework on the key Derby personnel, as Malcolm Smith was limited to 16 points, while Tre-Shawn Wilford could only add 11. 

The opposition in this East Midlands derby have had a weekend off to rue a lost opportunity a fortnight ago on the road at Thames Valley. A close game came right down the wire, but the Cavs ended up taking a four point victory. Coach Ryan Westley's side were able to bounce back in the back-end of their double-header, as they went on the road again to Manchester and put on a defensive clinic; limiting the Magic to just 55 points on the night. Having split their double-header and now with a week to prepare for the Blazers, the Hoods will have every chance going into this one, looking to improve to above .500 as they currently sit at 3-3 in eighth position so far. 


Worthing Thunder vs  Barking Abbey Crusaders

Saturday 17 November 2018 - 7.30pm

Live Stats

Lightning didn't strike twice last weekend as the Thunder put their first league loss behind them to return to form with a home win over Essex Leopards. The win sees them maintain pressure on league-leaders Team Solent Kestrels, as the Sussex side sit in second position with their 6-1 record. Pacing the Worthing effort in that win was a scoring explosion from Zaire Taylor who dropped 38 points on 15-25 shooting, while Alex Owumi added 23 points on 10-18 shooting. Captain Brendan Okoronkwo chipped in a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the side making the trip down to the south coast to visit the Thunderdome will hope for better luck on their travels this weekend, after minibus issues cut their trip up to Manchester short last weekend. The trip from East London down to Sussex will see the Crusaders hoping to bounce back from a disappointing double-header a fortnight ago - back-to-back home losses at the hands of Loughborough and Derby wasn't in the playbook for Coach Lloyd Gardner. Coach Gardner can take some hope from the performances of Jonathan Brown, who averaged 18 points a game over those two encounters, as the Barking wing begins to make his mark in his debut season at Division One level. 


Team Solent Kestrels vs  Hemel Storm

Saturday 17 November 2018 - 8.00pm

Live Stats

The late game on Saturday night sees the league-leading Team Solent Kestrels host Hemel Storm, as the pressure builds on the south coast side to maintain their perfect start. A 7-0 record to begin the league season has many talking about the title race already, but Coach Matt Guymon and his side will surely be taking this campaign one game at a time, with Worthing, Derby and Reading all snapping at their heels. The Places Leisure Eastleigh crowd will likely be treated to a high octane affair in this one, with both teams ready for an offensive showcase. 

The visitors head into this tough match-up after an extremely disappointing double header of losses last weekend, as two rough results saw them fall to 1-5 on the season. Saturday's loss saw the Storm host Bradford, as the Dragons dropped 114 points behind an exceptional offensive performance. The Storm defense continued to be sub-par on the Sunday, as they travelled to Reading and conceeded 97 points at the 'Mead, unable to slow down NBL Player of the Week Adrian O'Sullivan. Blayne Freckleton did his best to keep Hemel in that contest, with a 31 point effort to pace his side, but Coach Robert Youngblood will surely be focused in on the defensive end - needing to slow down Solent to compete in this match-up.


WNBL Division One

Sevenoaks Suns II vs Reading Rockets

Saturday 17 November 2018 - 5.30pm

Live Stats

WNBL Divsion One tips off on Saturday afternoon with Sevenoaks Suns II hosting the Rockets, with the Suns heading in well-rested after a weekend off. The Kent-based side's last action saw them grab a clutch overtime victory on their home floor against Loughborough, behind 24 points from Katie Bennett. The win saw Sevenoaks improve to above .500 at 3-2, as they currently sit in sixth place in the standings.

The Suns opposition in this one are a Reading side coming off a tough loss at the hands of league-leading Bristol Academy Flyers. A single digit loss at the hands of the Flyers showed that Reading were competitive, but a rough start to the game meant the damage was done early on. Monica Herranz de Antonio has kept up her impressive play on the inside for Reading, as she led their effort with 19 points against Bristol. This match-up has the potential to be an exciting affair, with Sevenoaks' young talent going up against the free-flowing European style of basketball that the Rockets bring to the table.


Bristol Academy Flyers vs  Anglia Ruskin University

Saturday 17 November 2018 - 5.30pm

Live Stats

In the marquee match-up of the WNBL Division One weekend, Anglia Ruskin travel over to the South West to put their undefeated 3-0 record on the line against the league-leading Bristol Academy Flyers (5-1). In their last match-up, the Flyers pinched a win on the road at Reading, using a hot start to the game to keep the Rockets at arms length for the rest of the contest. Cristina Bigica put in a big effort in that one, leading Coach Gareth Till's side with 23 points, while Mai Zibleti chipped in 15. 

The visitors in this one are the only undefeated team left in the league, but their unblemished start was threatened last weekend with their closest contest thus far. The Rhinos were able to sneak a 73-70 win on their home floor against Solent, as the lead changed numerous times in the closing stages. Nadage Talva and Najha Treadwell paced the effort on the day for Coach Matt Harber's side, as Talva had 28 points on 12-19 shooting, while Treadwell earned WNBL Player of the Week honours with a double-double of 24 points and 12 rebounds.


Team Birmingham Elite vs  Loughborough Riders

Saturday 17 November 2018 - 6.00pm

Live Stats

The draught for Team Birmingham Elite continued last time out, as the West Midlands side dropped to 0-5 on the season after a disappointing loss at the hands of Barking Abbey. Despite holding a comfortable lead early on, things started to unravel for Birmingham shortly after the half-time break, as Barking came out firing with a good third period that swung the momentum their way. Regardless of the rough start, Rebecca Brindley has been a bright spot for Coach Robin Hall's side, and she continued her good form with 20 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Jessica Cooper chipped in 10 points. 

Meanwhile, the visitors in this one are coming off a narrow low-scoring win against Ipswich, as Loughborough needed just 51 points to down the Suffolk side a week ago. The international break in the WBBL season meant the Riders were able to bring in reinforcement in the form of Holly Winterburn, who paced her side with 20 points and added four steals. With the international break continuing for Great Britain's vital EuroBasket Women qualifiers, we may see more young guns from the Leicester Riders get their chance to shine at the WNBL Division One level. 

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Team Solent Kestrels vs  Southwark Pride

Saturday 17 November 2018 - 6.00pm

Live Stats

Wrapping up the weekend in WNBL Division One is a trip to the south coast for Southwark Pride. The hosts in this one are coming off a disappointing loss on the road at Anglia Ruskin, in a close game that could have gone either way down the stretch. The loss for the Kestrels sees them slide to 3-2 on the season after a bright start, looking for a victory in this one to turn things around. Geena Gomez, WNBL Player of the Month for October, kept up her scoring form to lead Solent with 24 points, while Krisztina Velkey came off the bench to chip in 17.

A week off for the Pride after the withdrawal of Oxford Brookes University means this is Southwark's first action since their win over Barking Abbey a fortnight ago. The victory saw Southwark improve to 3-1 on the season, jumping up to third in the standings, as a dominant second half performance against the East London side saw their lead grow as the contest went on. 23 points off the bench from Jade Guidolin Duncan paced the Pride in that one, while Amelia Sandie had 17 points to lead the starters.


NBL Division Two

Liverpool vs  London United

Saturday 17 November 2018 - 5.00pm

Live Stats

Liverpool continued their impressive start to the season last time out with a road win over Derbyshire Arrows, needing a composed fourth quarter performance to clinch a single digit victory. The result was made more impressive by the absence of David Ulph and Kenny Ogunneye, which saw Mark Rangeley and Jack Hudson step up for the North West side. Rangeley paced the effort with 24 points and six rebounds, while Hudson excelled in the back-court with 18 points. This NBL Division Two match-up will bring to a close a busy day for Liverpool Basketball Club, which can take a behind the scenes look at on the @NBLengland Instagram Story Takeover this weekend!

Meanwhile, London United returned from a busy week on the continent competing in the EYBL to go straight into their Division Two match-up as they hosted London Greenhouse Pioneers. It was the visiting Pioneers who got the best of them in that encounter, as the travelling side pulled away in the third period. United did not go down without a fight as they upped their offensive output down the stretch, but the damage had already been done. Marius Talijunas paced United on that occasion with 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Daniel Szatkowski and Dovydas Rudik chipped in 14 points apiece in the loss. 


Ipswich vs  Myerscough College

Saturday 17 November 2018 - 5.30pm

Live Stats

Ipswich were able to grab their second win of the season and improve to 2-3 as the spoiled the party on the road at Myerscough College, as the North West side dropped the second half of their home back-to-back. Ipswich Captain Colin Dockrell had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the visitors in a full 40 minutes of action, while Veron Eze led the scoring effort with 21 points, nine rebounds and four steals en route to earning NBL Player of the Week honours for Division Two. The Suffolk side will hope for similar output from their stars in this weekend's match-up, which sees the exact reverse of last week's fixture as they take their turn to host Myerscough.

Before their Sunday afternoon loss at the hands of Ipswich, Myerscough put in a good performance in the front half of their back-to-back to defeat East London All Stars in a close contest. The Lancashire-based side led early on and would not relinquish that lead, as the Londoners were left to chase the game to no reward. David Walsh came off the bench to lead the effort with 15 points and eight rebounds, before he again paced them on Sunday with 17 points against Ipswich. 


London Greenhouse Pioneers vs Derbyshire Arrows

Sunday 18 November 2018 - 1.30pm

Live Stats

London Greenhouse Pioneers picked up their second win of the season last weekend to improve to 2-2 on the early season, coming out of the half time break with a point to prove as they build a decisive lead. Kyle Diaz continued his impressive form to pace Coach Predrag Krneta's squad with 18 points, while Francesco Rinaldi and Max Hufschlag added 13 points apiece and Mbombo Yebga chipped in 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Derbyshire Arrows faced the tough task of a visit from Liverpool last weekend and went down in a narrow loss after a valiant effort. The loss sees the Arrows slide to 1-3 on the season, tied at the foot of the table with Greenwich Titans. Joseph Baugh continues to show the force he is in Division Two as he paced the Derbyshire effort with 23 points and 13 rebounds, supported by 15 points and 12 rebounds from Matt Wilson.


East London All Stars vs Westminster Warriors

Sunday 18 November 2018 - 5.00pm

Live Stats

The final game of the NBL Division Two weekend sees East London host Westminster in a cross-capital battle. A mixed start to the season has the All Stars perched in sixth place with a 2-3 record, as a loss last weekend at the hands of Myerscough bumped them down to below .500 on the season. Coach Dave Greenaway had a balanced scoring effort in that one as his side were paced by a trio of 12 point efforts from Aaron Badibo, Dylan Whitbread and Mark Manovan. 

The visitors in this one have had a bright start to the season, as the Westminster Warriors hold a 3-1 record heading into this match-up. Their play so far sees them into second place in the league standings, so player-coach Jon Johnson will be hoping to grab a win in this one and maintain the pressure on Liverpool to stay perfect. Last time out, Westminster grabbed an important win over Sussex Bears, holding a double digit throughout the majority of the contest to take home a 72-59 victory. Justin Hitchman has had some impressive performances of late, as he led all scorers on this occasion with 20 points and eight rebounds.


Patrons Cup

London Greenhouse Pioneers vs Greenwich Titans

Monday 19 November 2018 - 8.20pm

Live Stats

The Monday night lights sees the Patrons Cup take centre stage, as a rearranged game between the Pioneers and Titans will be decisive in Pool C. The maths is simple for Coach Predrag Krneta, as a Pioneers win will safely see them into the semi-finals. However, a win for the Titans would cause a three-way tie in the group, meaning points difference comes into play, with Greenwich needing to win by 46+ points after their 52-77 loss at the hands of Sussex earlier in the season.  


Men's National Cup

The Men's National Cup has reached the quarter-final stage, as eight teams are now left to battle it out on Sunday for their chance at booking a spot in the semi-finals.

The action tips off in West London as Thames Valley Cavaliers host Team Solent Kestrels, with the Cavs having defeated giant-killers Liverpool on the road in the previous round. The Kestrels overcame a difficult start against NBL Division Four Bristol Hurricanes in the third round, before dispatching Team Newcastle on the road in a commanding win to set up this tie.

The next quarter-final sees an all-East Midlands tie, as Leicester Warriors will host Loughborough Riders. Two narrow victories have gotten Leicester to this stage, as they have picked up two five point wins over London Greenhouse Pioneers and Team Birmingham Elite. Meanwhile, Loughborough head into the quarter-finals off the back of a dominant win over Stoke-on-Trent Knights, before a 22 point effort from Alex Roberts got the job done in a close one against London United.

In a match-up between two sides struggling in NBL Division One, the third quarter-final sees Essex Leopards host reigning National Cup runners-up Manchester Magic. With the Leopards currently winless in the league campaign, their only successes have come in knock-out play - a run they will hope to continue. Meanwhile, the Magic have made it this far with a dominant road win over Derbyshire Arrows, before a relative upset which saw them dispatch Reading Rockets from the competition. 

The last of the quarter-finals sees Hemel Storm, the reigning National Cup champions, host Worthing Thunder in what will likely be an exciting match-up in front of the Stormtroopers. The Storm have hit triple digits in their two knock-out games thus far this season, with a rout over Ipswich in the third round setting up a tricky road game against Barking Abbey. Leon Henry and Blayne Freckleton combined for 50 points in the win over the Crusaders, to set up this tie with Worthing. The Thunder's successes have both come away from home thus far, so player-coach Josh Goddard will not be worried by the road trip to Hemel. A commanding win over Greenwich set up a long road trip up to Bradford, as Tom Ward led all scorers on that day to down the Dragons. 


Men's National Cup Quarter Finals (SUNDAY 18 NOvember)

Thames Valley Cavaliers vs Team Solent Kestrels - 3.00pm - Live Stats

Leicester Warriors vs Loughborough Riders - 3.30pm - Live Stats

Essex Leopards vs Manchester Magic - 4.00pm - Live Stats

Hemel Storm vs Worthing Thunder - 5.00pm - Live Stats


Women's National Cup

The Women's National Cup has also reached the quarter-final stage, with plenty of intriguing match-ups this Sunday as the teams compete to punch their ticket to the semi-finals. 

Reading Rockets tip off the action on Sunday as they host a relative unknown foe in the form of Cardiff Met Archers II from WNBL Division Two South. In a rearranged game, the Rockets had to wait until just last weekend to book their quarter-final spot with a win over London 'South Bank' Thunder. Their visitors in this one are the only remaining Division Two side in the competition as the Archers have got to this stage with a dominant win over Canterbury Christ Church Saints, before a narrow victory over Oxford Brookes University. Archers' guard Kimberley Kheing has enjoyed a rich vein of form in knock-out play, averaging 25.5 points per game this far. 

The next quarter-final sees Division One strugglers Team Birmingham Elite travel to the south coast to face Team Solent Kestrels, as Birmingham look to continue their cup run despite a rough start to league play. Elite grabbed a home win over Barking Abbey in the last round behind 16 points from Lisa Greenaway. Meanwhile, their hosts in this one travelled to Division Two North Nottingham Trent University in the last round and progressed with a dominant win behind the play of Geena Gomez who led all scorers with 25 points. 

In a rematch of their Division One league game just a week ago, Loughborough Riders will host Ipswich in their quarter-final match-up; with both sides hoping for a better offensive showing. The low scoring affair saw the Riders take a 51-46 victory, an outcome they will hope to replicate in this one. Loughborough booked their place in the quarter-finals with a commanding road win over the border at Cardiff City, while reigning cup champions Ipswich have defeated Myerscough College and Southwark Pride to make it this far.

The last of the quarter-finals will see Anglia Ruskin University host Bristol Academy Flyers in the reverse of their league fixture the day before. The two sides will be very familiar with each other and with the M4 after this weekend, with important league and cup results up for grabs! Anglia outlasted Sevenoaks Suns II in a close encounter in the last road, while the Flyers had a confidence-building victory on the road at Division Two North Northamptonshire Titans.


WOMen's National Cup Quarter Finals (SUNDAY 18 NOvember)

Reading Rockets vs Cardiff Met Archers II - 1.30pm - Live Stats

Team Solent Kestrels vs Team Birmingham Elite - 2.45pm - Live Stats

Loughborough Riders vs Ipswich - 3.30pm - Live Stats

Anglia Ruskin University vs Bristol Academy Flyers - 5.00pm - Live Stats


For full Scores & Schedules from this weekend's action, click the link below: