Mathis: We need fans for final play-off push

Forward Marquis Matthis is calling on Worthing Thunder supporters to come out in force on Saturday. Picture by Kyle Hemsley
Forward Marquis Matthis is calling on Worthing Thunder supporters to come out in force on Saturday. Picture by Kyle Hemsley

Forward Marquis Mathis issued a rallying cry ahead of Worthing Thunder’s final National League Division 1 regular season game against Manchester Magic on Saturday.

With Thunder beating Kent this past weekend and Reading Rockets seeking off Team Northumbria, it leaves Worthing needing just one win to secure home court advantage in the playoffs.

Thunder comfortably saw-off Manchester when the two teams last met in November. Magic have already qualified for the play-offs, which they won last season, despite a poor season this term by their standards.

Worthing have advanced to the play-offs for the first time since the 2014-15 season and a win in their final game of the league season will see them equal a record of 16 wins in the NBL since rejoining from the British Basketball League in 2011.

Mathis admitted that the tremendous fan support - that has seen near sellouts for the majority of the games since the start of the year - will drive them on.

Forward Mathis said: “Right now we are just focusing on getting wins. For most teams the season is over and the play-offs are on their mind but for us we need to secure home court and now our focus is on Manchester.

“We know we can’t take anything for granted. Coming in, we needed two wins from our final two games to get a home tie.

“We’re halfway there and to keep us going we need the fan support because it helps us play that little bit harder, so I hope we pack out the house on Saturday for the Manchester visit.”

Mathis claimed Barkers Tarring MVP honours in Saturday’s 74-55 win over Kent Crusaders. The American pulled down an impressive 20 rebounds to go with 20 points as Thunder led from start to finish in a routine victory.

However, Mathis’ focus on Kent ended as soon as the final buzzer sounded.

“I’m just focused on helping my team out and getting the win,” Mathis added.

“We can’t focus on Kent now as we’ve beaten them and up next we got Manchester.

“We need to be focused on them now so that we can get a home tie in the playoffs and go as far as we can.”

The final game of the regular season against Manchester Magic tips-off at 7:30 pm on Saturday at Worthing Leisure Centre.