NBL1 preview: 19/20 January - live streams, stats and more

Eyes might be on the NBL National Cup Final this weekend, but there's still important league action taking place elsewhere.

Five games are going ahead across the country on Saturday, plus a much-anticipated local clash between Derby and Nottingham this evening, before attention turns to the NBPC in Manchester on Sunday afternoon.

Leaders Essex can continue their hot form at the top of the standings, with a number of teams still putting the pressure on to close the gap.

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.

Hemel Storm (8-3) vs Loughborough Riders (8-4)

Third hosts fifth tomorrow as Loughborough take a trip to reigning D1M champs Hemel Storm.

After going unbeaten across the entire of 2022/23, expectations for Hemel were impossibly high coming into the current campaign but as things stand they're only two wins off leaders Essex with plenty of basketball still to be played.

At 6-1 across their last seven games, Storm are also hitting their stride after stuttering out of the blocks to begin the season.

One of those early losses was away to Loughborough on opening day, going down 92-87 thanks to 30 points from Elijah Bailey.

Bailey has continued that vein of form throughout much of the current campaign and tomorrow' hosts will need to find a way to slow him down if they're to avoid a repeat of last October.

Bailey's match-up with Sam Newman (10.8PPG, 7.3APG) should be one to watch, whilst Hakeem Sylla (23.1PPG, 10.0RPG) is always stuffing the stat sheet.

Storm have shot a D1-third best 38.5% from range this season, but were held to 27% in the last meeting between these sides.

If Loughborough can disrupt Hemel on the perimeter again this weekend, they'll no doubt fancy their chances of doing the double over the defending champs.


Elsewhere this weekend

The D1M action begins this evening as Nottingham Hoods (7-6) take a short trip over to neighbours Derby Trailblazers (9-2) from some Friday night action.

Derby can draw level with leaders Essex on 20 points with a win, putting some added pressure on the leaders ahead of their game the following day.

That clash for Essex Rebels (10-1) is a road tilt against Worthing Thunder (4-7), who have struggled for form this season but still have enough talent on their roster to hurt the league leaders.

Newcastle University (7-3) will look to bounce back following last weekend's loss to the Rebels, they'll host London Elite (2-10) in the North East with a 2pm tip.

Two teams looking to make a much-needed move up the standings sooner rather than later are Thames Valley Cavaliers (3-9) and Bradford Dragons (4-8). The pair meet in Uxbridge tomorrow as both look for what would be a valuable two points.

The day closes with out-of-form City of Birmingham Rockets (4-7) trying to bring their bad run to an end against bottom side Barking Abbey (0-12), who will no doubt see tomorrow night's battle as the perfect chance to finally get off the mark.

This weekend's fixtures:

Friday 19 January

7:45pm - Derby Trailblazers vs Nottingham Hoods - LIVE STATS

Saturday 20 January

2pm - Newcastle University vs London Elite - LIVE STATS

7pm - Hemel Storm vs Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS

7pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers vs Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS

7:30pm - Worthing Thunder vs Essex Rebels - LIVE STATS

7:30pm - City of Birmingham Rockets vs Barking Abbey - LIVE STATS


Main image credit - Max Lomas Photography