NBL1 Preview: Playoff Semi-Finals (8/9 May 2021) - live streams, stats and more

The race for the NBL post-season title is down to four teams, with Solent, Newcastle, Hemel and Worthing now just two wins from playoff glory.

With the final set for Manchester's National Basketball Performance Centre on May 15, this weekend will decide which two teams will be left to battle it out for the 2020/21 title.

We take a look at both the semi-finals below, with each heading clickable for live stats, plus links to live stats and live streams at the bottom of the page.

#1 Team Solent Kestrels v #5 Team Newcastle University

Top seeds Solent face visitors Newcastle on Saturday as they look to continue their journey for a third-straight playoff title.

Only COVID was able to stop the South Coast side last year with the 2019/20 NBL season eventually being cancelled, but the Kestrels have looked just as formidable this term as they march towards another accolade.

Last weekend's 78-61 victory over Loughborough came courtesy of solid performances from Orlan Jackman, Ian Smith and Andre Arissol, though the reigning league champs were held in check by the #8 seeds for large periods before a decisive third quarter tipped the contest in the Kestrel's favour.

Newcastle didn't enjoy their lone trip to Solent in the regular season, going down 95-64 back in November, but a lot of basketball has been played by both sides since that point.

The Knights are a team on a roll, stealing a momentum-boosting 84-82 victory on the road in Derby last weekend after knocking off Leicester in the opening round.

Ronald Blain averages 23.5ppg and 10rpg in this year's post-season, and Brandon Federici enjoyed a team-high 24 points last time out. Both will be integral if Newcastle are to spring an upset tomorrow. 

#3 Hemel Storm v #7 Worthing Thunder

Worthing pulled off a historic upset over #2 seeds Thames Valley last week and confidence will be high as they take a trip to Hemel tomorrow.

Tom Ward was the hero in that one as he exploded for 35 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, earning Player of the Week honours in the process.

Max Richardson is also a man in form, averaging 16.5ppg and an impressive 16rpg in two post-season games to date, and that duo plus Howard Crawford and Zaire Taylor all made it to double-digits on the score board last weekend.

Hemel will no doubt be quietly confident ahead of tomorrow's matchup, having already got the better of Worthing in their two regular-season meetings in 2020/21. A 119-89 home win in January was followed up by an 86-79 win on the South coast on Valentine's day. 

Player of the Year candidate Greg Poleon dropped 53 points across those two games and after putting up a double-double in each of the last two weeks, the American looks primed for another solid outing.

Guard Mike Williams is also a dangerous offensive option, he's fresh off a 30-point effort last weekend against Bradford.

Hemel's Mike Williams dropped 30 points in last weekend's win over Bradford (Luke Simcock)

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 8 May

3pm - #1 Team Solent Kestrels v #5 Team Newcastle University - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM
5pm - #3 Hemel Storm v #7 Worthing Thunder - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM LOCATION