NBL1 preview: 27/28 January - live streams, stats and more

With the NBL National Cup now completed, it's full steam ahead to the end of the regular season.

With seven games this weekend, teams are working hard to move through their remaining fixtures. Only the KitKing Trophy Final in March will divert the attention of teams striving for the playoffs, with Bradford and Derby doing battle for silverware in that one.

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.

Essex Rebels (11-1) vs Derby Trailblazers (10-2)

There a huge clash at the top of D1M tomorrow as leaders Essex host second place Derby Trailblazers.

Both teams have been playing some excellent basketball this season to give their fans real hope that a regular season title could be on the cards, but only one team can emerge from tomorrow's clash with a win.

Victory for leaders Essex would give them a much-needed cushion as they head into the final stretch of their fixture list, with games against Reading, Newcastle and a pair of meetings with Hemel still to go.

Derby could pull level at the top with the Rebels if they can find a way to win, securing the valuable head-to-head tiebreaker between the two sides in the process.

DTB currently hold the advantage in that regard after their 82-61 victory back in mid-October, which still stands as Essex's only loss this season.

Sam Masten enjoyed a 13 point, nine assist, eight rebound outing that day and the Derby guard has gone from strength-to-strength since, currently notching 21.3PPG to go with 6.2APG.

Masten's matchup with the likes of Victor Olarerin (16.9PPG) and Connor Nelson (12.9PPG) will be one to watch, though both these teams have bot depth and talent on their rosters.

“We’re really excited about the prospect of going to Essex. It’s a fantastic place to play and I think it’s the best venue in our league. They have a great home support too, so it should be a really fantastic atmosphere," said Derby head coach Matt Shaw.

“With it being a top of the table clash, there’s everything to play for and hopefully we can show a really good account of ourselves. We played some really good basketball in the reverse fixture, but we know how good they are and what a good squad they’ve got, so it won’t be easy."


Elsewhere this weekend

The weekend begins with bottom side Barking Abbey (1-12) lookin to build on picking up their first win of the season last time out as they head home to entertain Nottingham Hoods (7-7).

Loughborough Riders (8-5) lost to Hemel last time out and will be looking to bounce back from that performance tomorrow as they host strugglers Thames Valley Cavaliers (3-10).

Ronald Blain is the reigning Rebound Player of the Week and has got his Bradford career off to a hot start. Reading Rockets (8-2) will need to be wary of that threat as they travel to West Yorkshire to take on the Dragons (5-8).

London Elite (2-11) will need to start picking up wins sooner rather than later if they're to avoid a trip straight back to D2. They play ninth place Worthing Thunder tomorrow (4-8), who only lost by four against leaders Essex last time out.

Newcastle University's (8-3) double-header weekend gets underway with a difficult road game against Hemel Storm (9-3), who boosted their bid to retain the D1M title with the recent signing of former BBL winner Darien Nelson-Henry.

Newcastle close the weekend with a trip to the South coast to take on Worthing Thunder, hoping to pick up another two valuable points before the long drive back up the country.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 27 January

4pm - Barking Abbey vs Nottingham Hoods - LIVE STATS

6pm - Loughborough Riders vs Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

6:15pm - Bradford Dragons vs Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS

6:30pm - London Elite vs Worthing Thunder - LIVE STATS

6:30pm - Essex Rebels vs Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS

7pm - Hemel Storm vs Newcastle University - LIVE STATS

Sunday 28 January

5pm - Worthing Thunder vs Newcastle University - LIVE STATS