- National Teams
The final of the 2018 NBL Division 1 Playoffs is set as Worthing Thunder will take on Hemel Storm in Manchester, on April 29.
Hemel won their first D1 title with victory in the National Cup in January, while Worthing’s last piece of silverware came 11 years ago when they claimed the 2007 playoffs title.
Here is a recap of the Playoffs so far:
Loughborough Student Riders  v Manchester Magic 
Top seeds, Loughborough Student Riders – who won the D1 league title on the final day of the regular season – needed overtime to get past Manchester Magic in the opening round as they secured a 73-71 victory with Donte Gittens scoring 23 points in defeat.
Solent Kestrels  v Hemel Storm 
Solent Kestrels suffered an upset as they were beaten 72-82 at home to Hemel, despite 27 points and seven assists from Herm Senor. Storm put together a strong finish and had five players in double figures, including AJ Roberts – who led his side with 19 points and six assists.
Reading Rockets  v Bradford Dragons 
The Rockets dominated the final quarter to seal an 89-78 win over Bradford Dragons having trailed by as many as nine points in the contest. Declan Soukup fired in 26 points for Reading along with nine rebounds and five assists, while Tim Gill had 15 points and there were 14 points apiece for Jerrod Hendricks and Dan Carter.
Worthing Thunder  v Team Northumbria 
Marquis Mathis netted 26 points to lead Worthing to a 98-89 victory over Team Northumbria with James Grinham and Brendan Okoronkwo also scoring 20+ points as they combined for a further 46. Atif Russell had 26 points for the visitors as their post-season venture was ended at the first hurdle.
Loughborough Student Riders  v Worthing Thunder 
The league champions were toppled at the final four stage as Worthing came out victorious on the road with a 65-76 triumph. The visitors were down at the half, but stormed ahead in the third and held Loughborough to nine points in the final quarter. Marquis Mathis had another big game for the Thunder with 28 points with Zaire Taylor adding 21, while Jorge Ebanks had nine points, 13 boards and nine assists.
Hemel Storm  v Reading Rockets 
Hemel produced a convincing display as they eased to a 98-75 win over third seeds, Reading Rockets, to advance to the final. The hosts had six players in double figures with an 18-point haul from Bode Adeluola and 17 points apiece for AJ Roberts and Tom Adorian. The Rockets were left to rue a costly third period as the game got away from them as their season ended.
“We’ve beaten a higher seed in the quarter-finals, we’ve beaten a higher seed in the semi-finals and now we have an opportunity to beat a higher seeded team again in the Championship Final,” said Storm Head Coach, Robert Youngblood.
“We defeated a very good Reading team that was on an impressive winning run, we’ll enjoy this now but then get down to work over the next two weeks and prepare to face Worthing. We want to bring some more silverware back to the town.”
Nottingham Hoods 97-77 Middlesex LTBC; Thames Valley Cavaliers 93-77 London Greenhouse Pioneers
Liverpool 95-57 Derbyshire Arrows; Essex Leopards 80-84 Westminster Warriors
Nottingham Hoods 89-65 Westminster Warriors; Thames Valley Cavaliers 97-84 Liverpool
Myerscough College 75-71 Essex Blades; Loughborough Student Riders II 75-82 East London All Stars
Greenwich Titans 20-0 University of Chester; Northants Taurus 116-103 Stoke-on-Trent Knights
Myerscough College 88-78 Northants Taurus; Greenwich Titans 57-63 East London All Stars
BC Medelynas London 102-82 Sheffield Sabres; Calderdale Explorers 58-74 Barking Abbey
Team Derby 89-54 Taunton Tigers; Bristol Academy Flyers 90-109 Derby Trailblazers II
BC Medelynas London 105-100 Derby Trailblazers II; Barking Abbey 71-90 Team Derby
In Division 2, Nottingham Hoods are aiming to complete the regular season, post-season double with Thames Valley Cavaliers standing in the way of the league champions.
Myerscough College will meet East London All Stars in the Division 3 final, while Team Derby face BC Medelynas London – who went 18-0 in the league – in the Division 4 showdown.
The playoff finals will be held at the NBPC in Manchester on the weekend of April 28-29 with the D3/D4 finals taking place on Saturday before the D1/D2 finals are played the following day.