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

Everywhere you looked this weekend there was top-tier basketball going on.

The month ended with six D1M games, plus a KitKing Trophy semi-final and a National Cup clash between holders Hemel Storm and Worthing Thunder.

We take a look back 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 (4-2) 60-94 Essex Rebels (6-1)

Essex moved joint top of D1M with a commanding 94-60 road victory over City of Birmingham Rockets.

In what looked to be a competitive tie on paper before the weekend began, the Rebels blazed into a 29-8 first-quarter advantage during a contest they would lead from tip to buzzer.

Birmingham were handed their second loss of the campaign after totalling just 17 first-half points, shooting 35% from the floor against their opponents 55%.

Ebuka Ekwegh (35pts, 6reb, 4ast) was the main man for the visitors, splashing six triples on his way to a game-high score. Reigning Player of the Week Conner Nelson (11pts, 3/4 3pt) chipped in a useful contribution, as did TJ Hibbert (8pts, 7reb) off the Essex bench.

Martyn Gayle (14pts, 6reb) top scored for CoB as part of a bad day at the office for the Midlanders, with Ben Tew (12pts, 4reb) the only other Rocket to make it to double digits scoring.

The win takes Essex joint top of D1M with a 6-1 record, tied on 12 points with Derby Trailblazers (6-2), whilst Birmingham sit in seventh place.


Elsewhere this weekend

Co-leaders Derby Trailblazers (6-2) saw off Barking Abbey (0-8), winning 108-82.

Former Barking man Jase Harrison (23pts, 8/10 FG) came back to haunt his former club, hitting 5/6 three pointers in the process as forward Rob Marsden (18pts, 8reb) also played well.

Bradford Dragons (2-6) poor start to the season continued as they went down 105-93 at home against Newcastle University (3-2).

Despite making it to the KitKing Trophy final, league form has been elusive for the Dragons as 29 points from Logan Rooney and a 12-point, 11-assist, 10-rebound triple double from Theo Riley pushed Newcastle to their third win of the campaign.

Reading Rockets (5-1) needed a period of OT to find a way past London Elite (1-6), eventually coming through as 107-95 winners.

London's Afrasyab Khalil (24pts, 7reb, 4ast) and Reading's Mitch Clarke (27pts, 7reb, 7ast) had a terrific guard battle in that one, with Reis Pinnock's 20pts, 8reb effort also helping to get the visitors over the line.

Hemel Storm (5-2) picked up their fifth win of the season with a comfortable 113-89 victory over Thames Valley Cavaliers (2-6).

Seth Swalve (21pts, 5/5 3pt) and Hakeem Sylla (20pts, 13reb) helped to keep Hemel's title defence on track, cancelling out 28 points from former Storm favourite Bode Adeluola.

Nottingham Hoods (5-3) enjoyed a profitable weekend against Loughborough Riders (5-3, claiming both legs of the double-header between the two.

Both games featured a healthy dose of Johde Campbell, with the Hoods' man dropping a 23 point, 11 assist, seven rebound effort in Saturday's 108-99 home win, whilst his 18 point, 11 rebound, six assist double-double 24 hours later made all the difference in a low-scoring 81-70 ball game.

National Cup

Hemel Storm's bid to retain the NBL National Cup is over after a 69-65 road loss to Worthing Thunder.

Thunder avenged their loss in last season's D1M Playoff Final by dumping Storm out of the competition, with Tom Ward's (18pts, 4reb, 4ast, 5stl) do-it-all performance a major factor.

Thunder had led by as many as 15 points midway through the third quarter but a Storm fight back provided some late entertainment. The visitors would trail by just a single point with 3:10 remaining but the tying basket would remain out of reach.

Daniel Johnson-Thompson recorded a sizable 12-point, 18-rebound double-double in support of Ward as 16 points from Hakeem Sylla and 15 more from Brayden Inger wouldn't be enough.

KitKing Trophy 

Derby Trailblazers made it back to the final of the KitKing Trophy for the first time since 2021/22, beating Reading Rockets 98-69 to reach this year's showpiece.

Derby won the title that day, then called the L Lynch Trophy, and will hope another trip to the final will bring further success after comfortably seeing off the Rockets yesterday.

The visitors flew out of the blocks to lead 34-20 after the first quarter, though the Rockets would battle back to keep the difference hovering around the 12-point mark.

The run needed to pull the teams back level would never materialise though, and a late surge by DTB provided a somewhat lopsided final score.

Sam Masten (21pts, 7ast, 6reb) stared for Derby, with Corey Johnson (17pts) and Malcolm Smith (16pts, 5reb) both playing well.

Mitch Clarke (18pts, 3reb, 3ast) top scored for Reading as they fell at the final hurdle, with the hosts perhaps ruing the period of OT they played in the capital 24 hours earlier.

This weekend's results:

Saturday 25 November

4pm - Barking Abbey 82-108 Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS

6:15pm - Bradford Dragons 93-105 Newcastle University - LIVE STATS

6:30pm - London Elite 95-107 Reading Rockets (After 1OT) - LIVE STATS

7pm - Nottingham Hoods 108-99 Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS

7pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers 89-113 Hemel Storm - LIVE STATS

7:30pm - City of Birmingham Rockets 60-94 Essex Rebels - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

Sunday 26 November

D1M - 1pm - Loughborough Riders 70-81 Nottingham Hoods - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

KitKing Trophy - 4pm - Reading Rockets 69-98 Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

National Cup - 5pm - Worthing Thunder 69-65 Hemel Storm - LIVE STATS


Main image credit - Luke Simcock