Thunder target third successive win

Thunder's Hank Rivers in action against Medway Park.
Thunder's Hank Rivers in action against Medway Park.

WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club will look to make it three successive wins on Saturday when they travel to the Midlands to face table-topping Derby Trailblazers in the EBL.

Thunder go into the game looking to do the double over Derby, having beaten them 84-82 at the Leisure Centre in mid-November.

But Thunder coach Gary Smith knows that is in the past and Saturday will be a new game. He said: “We can’t dwell on previous results at all. We evaluate each game, yes. But we don’t think about the result.

“We beat Derby here in November-time but Saturday is a new game, and we will be facing a hungry Trailblazers side.

“They have quality guards who can score freely, and have a great mixture of youth and experience on their roster.

“They are top of the EBL because they can play together as a team and they work together to get the results they need. So, sure, we have beaten them this season, but it will be a different game on Saturday.”

Smith, though, is extremely happy with how his team have responded following the bad start to the year: “It was a little bit of a wake-up call for the guys, a bad day at the office, but they are playing how I want them to play right now, and they have been great.

“They’ve worked well, they’ve been unselfish and, most importantly, they have been tougher on the defensive end, so we head to Derby with a lot of confidence.”

American forward Hank Rivers, who hit an impressive 32 points and 18 rebounds last Saturday against Medway Park, is looking forward to the challenge.

He said: “End of the day, anyone can beat anyone in this league. We’ve just got to go out there and play our hardest and play as a team. We know our roles and we’ve got to continue what we are doing on the floor.”

The Trailblazers currently top the EBL Division One table, and confidence has been elevated further due to them booking a spot in the National Trophy final, as they defeated Reading Rockets in the semi-finals last week. They will face Bristol Academy Flyers in the final.

Saturday’s game against Derby tips-off at 7.30pm.