TAKEOVER - Baker ready for Solent test

As his side prepares to host Team Solent Kestrels in the National Cup semi-final today, Essex Leopards' coach Thomas Baker is expecting a tough test.

"It is exciting to think we are one game away from a final" he said. "However, right now our focus has to be on preparing for a tough Solent team who currently are dominating NBL Division One."

"Coach Guymon's teams are always well drilled and strong defensively so we will need to be at our best if we are to reach the final. They have some returning players from last year, most namely Herm Senor II who is a great leader in their team. But with their recent addition of Nick Lewis as already having a strong team it is going to be a great game to be a part of and one the guys are super excited about."

Thanks to the continued support of Brentwood Leisure Trust, the game will take place at the Brentwood Centre on Sunday 9 December, tip-off 4pm. Leopards will be running their usual pre-game training session with the players before the game, bookings for this and tickets to the game are available through the Leopards website.

Baker is hoping that the experience of Lee Hodges and Chuck Duru, who won the competition with Hemel Storm last year, will help his side.

"It is good to have guys who have been in this position before," he said. "Using the experiences of Chuck and Lee from their success last year with Hemel will be key for us. We are getting better all the time and this is a great opportunity for us, we will be ready for the challenge."

Follow the Essex Leopards today as they takeover the @NBLengland Instagram story for their National Cup semi-final!