NBL1, National Cup & KitKing Trophy preview: 25/26 November - live streams, stats and more

It's a busy weekend in D1M, with six games on Saturday, two teams in double-header action plus a National Cup clash and a KitKing semi-final.

That means the final weekend of November is sure to be a good one, with Reading and Derby battling it out to join Bradford in the KitKing final.

We take a look at all of the weekend's action below, with links to live stats and live streams at the bottom of the page.

City of Birmingham Rocket (4-1) vs Essex Rebels (5-1)

A pair of one-loss teams clash in the West Midlands tomorrow as City of Birmingham Rockets host Essex Rebels.

Both sides are enjoying somewhat of an unexpected uptick this season after Essex went 8-18 in 2022/23, whilst Birmingham are enjoying their first season in the top flight.

Both sides are certainly the real deal this year and are well deserving of their places in the playoff spots.

CoB came through another OT classic last weekend, downing Nottingham Hoods 113-102 behind a 45 point masterclass from Sam Toluwase.

That performance earned the veteran forward a spot in the Rebound Team of the Week, though the Rockets' standout was narrowly pipped to Player of the Week honours by a foe he'll be facing this weekend in Essex's Connor Nelson.

The Rebels' man dropped 31 points on previously unbeaten Reading last time out, and his 5/8 clip from beyond the arc shows a talent for long range shooting that CoB will need to guard against.

That said, no team has hit more three pointers (69) than Birmingham this season, and the Rockets' 42.3 3pt% is the best in the league.

Expect some fireworks tomorrow, and don't be surprised if another CoB game ends up heading to overtime.


Elsewhere this weekend

The weekend begins with a top vs bottom clash as joint leaders Derby Trailblazers (5-2) take a trip to London to face Barking Abbey (0-7).

Bradford Dragons (2-5) have lost three of their last five games and are struggling for league form despite their success in the KitKing Trophy. Coach Mellor's side will try to correct that tomorrow as they welcome Newcastle University (2-2) to West Yorkshire.

Reading Rockets (4-1) experienced their first loss of the season last weekend against Essex. The Rockets will be hoping to bounce back at the first time of asking and can do just that on the road against London Elite (1-5).

Two teams that have been locked in some close tussles in recent seasons face off tomorrow in somewhat unfamiliar positions. Hosts Thames Valley Cavaliers (2-5) are struggling at the wrong end of the table, whilst visitors Hemel Storm (4-2) have already lost twice this season after their unbeaten campaign a year ago.

Nottingham Hoods (3-3) and Loughborough Riders (5-1) are both on double-header duty this weekend, playing in Nottingham on Saturday before taking the short trip to Loughborough on Sunday.

A pair of wins for either team would improve their league standing significantly, with the Riders knowing that regardless of results elsewhere they could take sole possession of top spot with a pair of victories.

National Cup

Hemel's league form might not be quite what it was last season but they will be keen to progress in their bid to retain the National Cup.

They travel to Worthing for the second game in a testing weekend with a place in the quarter-finals at stake. The hosts, 2-4 in league action so far, will be well rested with no game on Saturday.

KitKing Trophy 

Reading Rockets play host to Derby Trailblazers in the second semi-final of the KitKing Trophy on Sunday.

Bradford already eased past defending champs Hemel 80-70 a few weeks ago to book their place in the final, with both of this weekend's sides itching to do the same.

Both teams come into this one sporting some solid form in D1M, with Reading (4-1) and Derby (5-2) both occupying spots in the top five.

They're yet to meet in the league yet, however, with their first clash scheduled for early January, meaning this weekend's semi-final will give an early window into how these two title challengers stack up.

Sam Masten's clash with Zack Powell should be a good one from a guard perspective, whilst Malcolm Smith and Mitch Clarke should also provide plenty of support.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 25 November

4pm - Barking Abbey vs Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS

6:15pm - Bradford Dragons vs Newcastle University - LIVE STATS

6:30pm - London Elite vs Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS

7pm - Nottingham Hoods vs Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS

7pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers vs Hemel Storm - LIVE STATS

7:30pm - City of Birmingham Rockets vs Essex Rebels  - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

Sunday 26 November

D1M - 1pm - Loughborough Riders vs Nottingham Hoods - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

KitKing Trophy - 4pm - Reading Rockets vs Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

National Cup - 5pm - Worthing Thunder v Hemel Storm - LIVE STATS