With eight games across week 2, NBL fans had plenty to enjoy this weekend. We’ll take a look at all the games from 5/6 October in our recap below.
In an ominous early result for the rest of D1M, last season's regular season and playoff champions Solent secured a comfortable 88-70 win over their closest rivals from 2018/19 Worthing Thunder.
A 31-12 2nd quarter broke the game open early for the hosts behind the efforts of Elliott Sentance, who finished with a game high 27 points to go with eight rebounds and two assists.
Worthing did fight back in the 3rd quarter, Tom Ward would finish with 20 point as Zaire Taylor added 15 more to go with eight rebounds and five steals. NBL Player of the Week Cameron Hildreth played nearly 20 minutes in the contest but went 1-7 from the field on a rough outing for the 17-year-old.
Solent regrouped in the game’s final quarter to put the finishing touches on their second victory of the season as Ian Smith once again impressed, playing all 40 minutes and falling just shy of a triple-double with 15 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists.
Derby Trailblazers joined Solent at 2-0 after a come from behind 95-79 win over Liverpool. The hosts were up 69-62 3 in that one before the Trailblazers took the final quarter 33-10. Derby captain Oli Stanley came up big for his side in the North West, contributing 22 points and 17 rebounds.
Another side moving to 2-0 are Hemel Storm as they snuck past Nottingham Hoods 88-85. Leading by as many as 16 late in the 3rd, Hemel struggled to hang on and with less than 90 seconds remaining the difference between the sides was down to just 3 points. The hosts managed to stay in front though, thanks in part to 24 points and 12 points from Lee Hodges.
The other team at 2-0 are Loughborough Riders after a good weekend to begin their campaign. Reis Pinnock’s 16 point, 10 rebound double-double helped the Riders past Essex & Herts Leopards 94-66 on Saturday, before a tight contest in the Midlands on Sunday saw Coach Jarram’s side beat Nottingham Hoods 81-71. Kyle Jimenez went 4/6 from range on the way to 18 points, making the difference in a relatively even contest.
There were bounce back wins for Barking Abbey, Reading Rockets and Leicester Warriors as well, with all three sides finding a way to overcome opening day defeats. Sam Alajiki’s 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists helped Barking beat Westminster 84-79, TJ Henderson’s 23 points made all the difference in a low scoring 72-66 win for Leicester over Bradford, and a 34 4th quarter points by Reading helped the Rockets past Thames Valley 108-93.
Matt Guymon, Team Solent Kestrels head coach: “I thought we were excellent for large spells defensively, we limited key personnel and that really sparked our transition game on the other end of the floor. We had a number of contributions on the offensive end and again showed we have a number of weapons that can really score the ball for us."
Tom Baker, Essex and Herts Leopards head coach: “It was another tough outing which began from a slow start from us. In order for us to compete at this level we need to make sure we are ready from the get go, remove the shackles and just play our style.”
Matt Shaw, Derby Trailblazers head coach: "I was delighted with the win and the way the guys fought back from seventeen points down. We did a great job pressing and running our zone defence to help us change the momentum. Oli [Stanley] was incredible. In the fourth quarter he nearly had a double double (10 points and 8 rebounds)."
Alan Keane, Reading Rockets head coach: “I am really pleased with the victory over Thames Valley Cavaliers, who provided us with a lot of problems to solve and what was positive for us was we were able to find those answers based on the commitment we showed and being relentless against a tough opponent.”
Chris Mellor, Bradford Dragons head coach: "Our defence and rebounding was pretty good but offensively we were poor with our ball movement, pace, and execution, and that’s where some of our focus will definitely go moving forward.”
2:00pm - Loughborough Riders 94 v 66 Essex & Herts Leopards - LIVE STATS
3:00pm - Leicester Warriors 72 v 66 Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS
4:00pm - Barking Abbey Crusaders 84 v 79 Westminster Warriors - LIVE STATS
5:00pm - Liverpool 79 v 95 Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS
6:00pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers 93 v 108 Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS
7:00pm - Hemel Storm 88 v 85 Nottingham Hoods - LIVE STATS
7:30pm - Worthing Thunder 70 v 88 Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS
5:00pm - Nottingham Hoods 70 v 88 Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS
Week 3 covers the 12/13 October and sees seven fixtures take place in D1M as Barking head to Solent as BA look to end the Kestrels' win streak, Derby head down to Worthing hoping to stay undefeated, Hemel host Westminster and Loughborough go to Reading in the fixtures involving the 2-0 sides.
Liverpool will try to grab their first win of the season against Thames Valley, whilst Leicester Warriors and Nottingham Hoods enjoy an all-Midlands affair. Bradford Dragons and Essex Leopards will also face off in a battle of 0-2 sides.
Main image credit: Luke Simcock