NBL Division Two preview - Week 13 (21/22 December 2019)

As D2M winds down towards the mid-season break, four games remain to round out 2019. With Southern leaders Essex still in action and a trio of intriguing games in the North, let's take a look at what this weekend has in store.

Game of the Week

Derbyshire Spartans (4-6) v Manchester Magic (6-3)

Two sides with playoff aspiration in the Northern Conference lock horns tomorrow as 4th place Manchester head to 8th place Derbyshire Spartans.

These two teams met on the opening day of the season, with the Magic claiming a tight 80-70 win on that occasion. Richard Bell top scored for Manchester and Ronald Oberia led the way for Derbyshire, with both players likely to feature heavily tomorrow as well.

The loss of American Jordan Santiago to D1M Loughborough hasn't hurt Derbyshire's season too much, with the Spartans still picking up a pair of wins since his departure. 

Manchester will be playing their first D2M game since a 1 December win over Bristol Hurricanes tomorrow, though it remains to be seen if they'll be more rusty or well rested by the time they get back on court.

Elsewhere in D2M

Elsewhere in the Northern Conference, Charnwood College Riders (7-3) can take sole possession of 2nd place heading into 2020 as they travel to play Bristol Academy Flyers (4-6). 4-1 over the last five games, the Riders are in good touch to end the year whilst Bristol are 1-3 in their last four. Will this one go to form, or can the hosts bounce back?

One team that won't want to think about current form is Bristol Hurricanes (0-8). Winless on the year, the Hurricanes welcome Derbyshire Arrows (5-5) tomorrow in their last chance for victory in 2019. The Arrows came out 81-80 winners on opening day when these teams last met, so perhaps home advantage can help Bristol get the W this time around.

The Southern Conference's only game is a top v bottom clash as leaders Essex Rebels (7-2) take on Cardiff Met Archers (1-7). Rory Winter continues to impress this season for the Rebels, with 17.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Cardiff have been on the receiving end of some mighty performances in recent weeks, with two of the last three D2M Player of the Week recipients putting up their numbers against the Archers. That could bode well for Winter as he looks to continue his solid form.

Full fixtures and stats

Saturday 21 December 2019

3:00pm - Bristol Academy Flyers v Charnwood College Riders - LIVE STATS
3:00pm - Essex Rebels v Cardiff Met Archers - LIVE STATS
5:30pm - Bristol Hurricanes v Derbyshire Arrows - LIVE STATS
7:00pm - Derbyshire Spartans v Manchester Magic - LIVE STATS

Main image credit - James Darcey