Sure Shot Junior National Cup Finals 23/24 - preview, live streams, live stats & more

The National Cup Finals are nearly here, with eight teams ready to fight it out to be crowned junior champions this weekend in Manchester.

We've got previews below of all four of Saturday's Sure Shot National Cup Finals from across the Jnr. NBL, and fixture titles can be clicked to access live stats links.

Live streams are also available, along with a gallery of photos of this year's finalists in action at the bottom of the page.

Haven't got your ticket yet? Act fast! They'll be available on the door, but allocations are selling fast so click the button below to avoid disappointment.

11am - Under-16 Girls’ Sure Shot National Cup Final - Richmond Knights v Milton Keynes Breakers

The National Cup weekend begins with an exciting clash between Richmond Knights and Milton Keynes Breakers.

Finalists in 2019/20, Richmond’s run to the NBPC involved making short work of CoLA Southwark Pride 60-34 before beating Team Solent Kestrels 115-38.

A 71-54 victory over Northern Premier outfit Leicester Riders punched the Knights’ ticket to Manchester as they hope to go one better than four years ago as beaten finalists.

Milton Keynes have faced a similar route, seeing off City of Birmingham 117-45 before a 93-39 score line on the road against Nottingham Wildcats.

Knocking out defending champions Manchester Mystics on their own court 82-73 in December’s semi-final more than demonstrated MK’s credentials for making it this far, with both of these sides looking to claim the U16 crown for the first time.

For the Breakers, Athena Thompson could be a key to victory. She has experience suiting up for GB under 18s and competed for the under 16s at the FIBA European Youth Championships last summer.

It was also announced recently that she would be signing for WBBL’s Leicester Riders to continue her basketball journey, though the talented wing is still playing for MK as part of her continued development.

Richmond’s guard duo of Neve Rugette and Precious Godwin both made Basketball England’s starting fives from the U14s Junior Final Fours last summer and know how to bring their A game to the NBPC, whilst forward Chloe Vella is another player with plenty of talent at her disposal.

Richmond Knights head coach Chanel Mubeen: “We are excited to get the opportunity to be attending the National Cup Final this season. The team has worked hard to get themselves to this stage, we are excited for the game and hope to display a high-level performance.”
Milton Keyes Breakers head coach Tony Marmo: “It's a great achievement for this group to make the Cup Final. The girls have been working hard all season and they deserve this opportunity. We're looking forward to what should be a great game against a strong Richmond team."

1:15pm - Under-16 Boys’ Sure Shot National Cup Final - Manchester Magic v Bristol Academy Flyers

Manchester Magic’s U16 Boys are the only reigning champions to make it to the NBPC on Saturday as they look to defend their title against Bristol Academy Flyers.

Early-round victories against Toxteth, Milton Keynes and Sheffield Elite pushed Magic to the quarter-final stage, where they beat cross-town rivals Manchester Giants 91-49 before a win in the semis over London Stars confirmed a spot in the final.

Bristol have knocked off the likes of Surrey Rams and JMA Reading Rockets to get this far, though denying the Magic of a 12th U16 Cup success would still be quite the effort from the Western Premier side.

Manchester’s success a year ago was driven by an MVP performance from captain Jack Walton, who dropped a game-high 17 points to go with five steals and five assists as the hometown side beat London Lions 71-64.

He’ll be back for more but will need to help fend off a strong Bristol roster that contains 6’2” wing Marcos Perez Tosca, who has been excelling in the EABL, and guard Corey Hill, who suited up for GB’s U16s last summer.

Manchester Magic captain Jack Walton: “We’re excited about reaching the National Cup Final this year. Although we are current holders, the team is a completely new group and are ready to compete. We have a deep team that are willing to come into the game at any given time, which is a reason we have reached the Final.”
Bristol Academy Flyers head coach Christian Hill: "We have a great bunch of guys this season, very versatile group of players and a pleasure to coach. The Cup Final is a great reward for the players' hard work and dedication so far this season."

3:30pm - Under-18 Women's Sure Shot National Cup Final - Manchester Mystics v CoLA Southwark Pride

Two of the most prolific teams at this level meet on Saturday afternoon as Manchester Mystics take on CoLA Southwark Pride.

The Mystics can become the most successful team in the competition’s history with a win, taking themselves to five titles. CoLA on the other hand can join Ipswich, Sevenoaks and their opponents Manchester with four wins, should all go to plan from their perspective.

To reach the final, Manchester had the difficult task of seeing off reigning champs Ipswich, doing so in a 68-66 thriller last month.

CoLA by comparison were able to ease past Milton Keynes 93-48 in their semi-final as they look to go one better than last year’s runner-up spot.

Mystics are able to call on a number of their U16s who won the National Cup at that age group in 2022/23, including former MVP Irene Oboavwoduo and guard Maisie Keyes.

Daisy Bryan, Elizandra and Carina Costa plus others have all been collecting valuable WNBL Division One minutes this campaign as part of their development and will add another dimension to Manchester’s game plan.

Coach Gibbons’ side possess a trio of forwards who could make life hard for the Mystics, with Felicia Jacobs (10.9), Adaora Dioramma (8.1) and Esther Kursite (7.0) all averaging seven rebounds or more per game in WNBL Division One this season, whilst Glory Kabia can be relied upon to generate offence from the guard spot.

Manchester Mystics captain Alejandra Escriva: “Seeing how the team has developed as a unit throughout the season has been a rewarding experience. We are excited to have reached the Final of the Cup as it gives us a great opportunity to show what we can bring to the game.”
CoLA Southwark Pride head coach Jackson Gibbons: “It’s always a privilege to make it all the way through to the Cup Final. Manchester Mystics are an exceptional programme with one of the best coaches in the country in Rob Fairley and remarkable talent in their squad. We are hoping to make it a competitive game and give a good account of ourselves.”

5:45pm - Under-18 Men's Sure Shot National Cup Final - Derby Trailblazers v Islington Panthers

Saturday’s action draws to a close with two sides looking to etch their names into U18 Cup history for the first time as Derby Trailblazers go up against Islington Panthers.

Neither side has won this title dating back to the 1940s, adding an extra level of incentive to end day one at the National Basketball Performance Centre.

For Islington, a large portion of their roster is a holdover from the U16 side that won the National Cup at that age group in 2021/22.

Former MVP Tyresse Poku Mensah returns, with the likes of Paul Magno, Luka and Lemar Clarke, Devontae Da Costa, Douglas Owusu and Jaidan Dawes all doing the same in the search of further glory.

Unlike their opponents Islington, who are enjoying a very strong campaign in the Eastern Premier, Derby have struggled for the same levels of success in the Northern Premier.

Losing four of their first five games to start the season left the Trailblazers with work to do, allowing the National Cup to prove a worthwhile distraction across the current campaign.

Part of Derby’s Cup journey involved knocking 2021/22 winners Manchester Magic out in the third round with a narrow 73-70 win, following that up with victories against Trafford, St Helens and Reading on route to the Final.

A number of their roster is also making waves in the EABL this season, with Nick Wild, Rohan Hobday, Jack Lemon, Zac Atkins and Elias Norman all picking up useful minutes at the next level.

Derby Trailblazes captain Elias Norman: “We've improved in every game during our Cup run and we're the most prepared we've ever been. I think that the Final will be a very high-intensity game from start to finish, but we will play 100% the whole time.”
Islington head coach William Akuffo: “I am happy and proud of the team to have made it to the Sure Shot National Cup Final. The team respects each other and the game and have learnt that hard work is rewarded; if you lose, you learn to pick yourself up and try again which will eventually result in success, not only for yourself but the whole team.”