NBL1 Preview: Week 9 (27 November 2021) – live streams, stats and more

Nearly all Division One Men’s teams are in action on Saturday. 

At the top of the table, Team Solent Kestrels will look to go 9-1 away at Oaklands Wolves, whilst fourth-placed Hemel Storm can potentially move up to third if they take an away win against London Lions II.  

Bottom club Essex Rebels will want to capitalise on home court advantage to grab their first W.   

Thames Valley Cavaliers (5-2) v Worthing Thunder (8-1) 

Will Uxbridge College be the fortress that railroads Worthing’s mounting challenge for the NBL title? 

The Cavaliers sit in third and are six points behind the Thunder. To stay on their heels, they’re going to need to take the victory.  

On their side is form, having won their last four matches, and with one of the lowest ‘points against’ scores in the league and forward Hakeem Sylla, who is averaging nearly 10 rebounds per-game to keep second-chance points down, the Cavs are a solid defensive outfit too. Talisman Jakobi Bonner is also averaging 21 points per-game and will need to be a slick shot on Saturday to sink Thunder. 

Thunder are in fine form too after also winning their last four and after best-in-class performances from Tom Ward, Jarred Dixon and Zaire Taylor last week, they won’t want to lose any ground to the Kestrels who are only ahead of them in first place on points difference.  

Elsewhere this weekend 

London Lions II (5-4) will want to shake off last week’s bruising by the Kestrels by putting in a much better-looking offensive performance. Captain Jase Harrison had a good 17-point game but with only 16 points coming from his bench, he’s going to have to rally the troops to get buckets. 

Hemel Storm (5-3), on the other hand, don’t have an offense problem with an over 50% average field goal percentage for the season so far. Additionally, with third place in the standings up for grabs (if the Cavaliers and Trailblazers both lose) they’ll want to leave the Lions’ den with a win.  

Essex Rebels (0-7) are having a tough time of it, languishing at the foot of the table without a win to their name but form is temporary and as they’ll be hosting Team Newcastle (4-5) at home, it’s as good a time as any to get that win. The visitors, however, are reeling from two on-the-bounce losses and won’t be making the long journey to continue that trend. 

At the other end of the standings, Bradford Dragons (3-4) and Loughborough Riders (3-6) will be looking to build momentum from their wins last week as they face each other in Loughborough.      

Derby Trailblazers (5-4) will be building on their blow-out win against the Wolves last week and want to hold onto their play-off place against the Reading Rockets (4-2), who are making their first appearance in two weeks.  

Of his opponents Derby Head Coach Matt Shaw said: “Meshack Lufile is a genuine back to the basket kind of player that we don’t see many of in our league. It will be a tricky match-up and I think we’ll have our hands full trying to keep him quiet,” c

“I’ve also been really impressed with Tyler Cartaino. He can do a little bit of everything and he’s a real stat-line filler. Trying to keep him quiet and make his life as difficult as possible will also be a key part of the game plan."

Table-topping champions Team Solent Kestrels (8-1) won’t be willing to let (1-7) Oaklands Wolves sneak a win against them.  

This weekend's fixtures

Saturday 27 November 

15:00 – Oaklands Wolves v Team Solent Kestrels – LIVE STATS 

16:00 – London Lions II v Hemel Storm – LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM 

18:00 – Loughborough Riders v Bradford Dragons – LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM 

18:30 – Thames Valley Cavaliers v Worthing Thunder – LIVE STATS 

19:00 – Derby Trailblazers v Reading Rockets – LIVE STATS 

19:00 – Essex Rebels v Team Newcastle University – LIVE STATS