British basketball’s reigning champions will be riding in to town to take on Hemel Storm at Sportspace next weekend.
This treat for all basketball fans will see the Leicester Riders taking on Storm in a friendly.
Hemel Storm are rounding off a series of three challenge matches by taking on the current British Basketball League champions, the Riders, at Sportspace next Saturday, October 7.
The tip-off will be an hour earlier than normal at 6pm.
Dave Titmuss, Hemel Storm’s basketball programme director, said: “It’s obviously a real test for us and a great opportunity for our fans to see the best of British basketball.
“We have aspirations at Storm to be the top team in the country and I think we’re headed in the right direction so this game will highlight the task we face.”
While Storm will field an all-British team, the Riders’ line-up will include a number of foreign players along with some top British talent.
“We are already selling tickets for the game so as usual we expect to have a big crowd and the fantastic support that we enjoy week in, week out,” added Titmuss.
Meanwhile, Storm hosted National League Division Two outfit London Greenhouse Pioneers in another friendly on Saturday night.
The plucky Pioneers are expected to challenge for promotion this season and Storm were able to sweep them aside by 18 points, 81-63.
Hemel were without injured starter Michael Darlow and also guard Nick Allin.
Both players were side-lined with short-term injuries and are expected to return to the line-up before this Saturday’s National Trophy pool game away against Loughborough.
Both Loughborough and Storm beat Leicester Warriors in the three-team pool so the winner of Saturday’s game will qualify for the competition’s semi-final stages.
On Saturday night at Sportspace, Hemel used a 24-17 first-period burst and a 22-14 second-quarter run to take a lead into the locker room at half-time.
In a free-flowing clash, the visitors struggled to cope with Hemel’s leading scorer David Ajumobi, who finished with 23 points.
Ajumobi found the basket from long and short range, while Storm skipper Bode Adeluola (14 points) used his lightening-quick drives to the basket to either score or draw fouls.
After three quarters and the score at 65-46 in Hemel’s favour, the visitors turned up the defensive pressure.
In the final stanza the Londoners shot extremely well to get themselves back into contention at 67-59.
But a Hemel time-out called by new coach Robert Youngblood stopped any momentum that the visitors had.
His Storm team then went on to out-score the Pioneers 15-4 in the last five minutes of the match.
“It was a valuable exercise for us,” said coach Youngblood afterwards, “and showed up some details that we need to focus on and improve.”
Storm team and scorers v Pioneers: David Ajumobi 23, Bode Adeluola 14, Lee Greenan 10, Wayne Yeboah 10, Courtney Van-Beest 7, Tom Adorian 6, Chuck Duru 6, Jack Burnell 5, Walid Mumuni, Rhyce Donegal.
Storm won their other friendly match as well this season.
They beat an American touring team, USA-Select, 91-88, on September 9.
For tickets or more information about the Leicester Riders clash at Sportspace next Saturday (tip-off 6pm). check out the club’s newly-revamped website at www.stormbasketball.net.