Thunder set for season’s longest trip

Vinnie Darpino
Vinnie Darpino

WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club will make their longest trip of the season on Saturday when they travel to Middlesbrough to face the struggling Tees Valley Mohawks.

While Mohawks are no longer the dominant force they were in the early years of Thunder’s existence, they still pose a threat and coach Gary Smith recognises that: “This will be a tough game, Tees Valley have shown us twice this season how good they are from outside but, at the same time, I know that this is a game where we can go out there and win.

“As long as we stay on point, meaning that we continue to make improvements, this will be a long journey and it will be tough, make no mistake about it, but we need to go out there and contain their offensive threats and be professional ourselves.”

Thunder have played Mohawks twice already this season, once in the National Trophy and the other time in the EBL with the south-cast side chalking up victories on each occasion, but this will be Worthing’s first trip to the north-east this season and they will be boosted by the return of Vinnie Darpino, who came off the bench in last week’s win against Westminster Warriors.

Smith said: “I wanted to ease Vinnie into the action, and he got into his stride well, I thought.

“He’ll, hopefully, play a bit more this week but he isn’t match-fit yet, so it’s a case of breaking him in again.”

Worthing, who have won two of their last three league games, should have captain James Brame back for the trip up north.

Tip-off in Middlesbrough is scheduled for 6.30pm.