Essex Leopards' big men Chuck Duru and Asante Sandiford are both ready as the Big Cats prepare for Sunday's National Cup semi-final against Solent Kestrels at the Brentwood Centre.
Tip-off on Sunday is 4pm, with tickets available on the door or through the Leopards website.
Duru won the National Cup with Hemel Storm last season and expects a tough test from the Eastleigh-based side, "Solent are a very talented team, who have certainly found form early in the season, being undefeated and top of the league. It will most certainly be a tough game and they will be well prepared for us but I believe if we execute defensively, stay together and knock down our shots, we will reach the final."
"For myself and Lee [Hodges], it is an opportunity to reach consecutive National Cup finals, having won it last year with Hemel, so that will be additional motivation for us. As a group, we are continuing to improve each week and are now on the verge of a national final, so it is important we remain focused and prepare for the challenge ahead.”
Meanwhile, Sandiford goes into the game on the back of a 34-point, 15-rebound performance in the 102-84 victory against Team Newcastle last Sunday. That performance saw him hit four of his six three point attempts and helped him earn the NBL Division One Player of the Week award.
"It was a good team win for the Leopards!" he said. "My teammates got me involved early on in the game which helped me bring a spark to our offense, and assisted me in creating for them as well. We have hit a great stride the past few games and I feel like we can continue to elevate our game."
"This weekend we are going to war with Solent at the Brentwood Centre. We would love to have our Essex Leopards family & fans fill the stands, because we really appreciate the support you bring!"
Follow the Essex Leopards this weekend as they takeover the @NBLengland Instagram story for their National Cup semi-final!
20 May 2019
14 May 2019