Loughborough Student Riders are set to take on Hemel Storm, with a place in the National Cup Final at stake.
Having reached this stage of the competition by getting past the Leicester Warriors, it was against the Bradford Dragons where the team had its first Cup scare, after trailing early they managed to come back and win, in not so squeaky fashion pulling off a 79-76 victory.
The team will be confident after an impressive season so far, has seen them progress in every competition to date. However, probably the most important factor going into the game is that they played only a week prior, with Loughborough coming out on top 86-73.
Coach Mark Jarram believes the scheduling of the game will have major implications on the result.
“It’s always interesting to play a team so close and nobody else in-between. With that, I’m sure both teams will be looking at areas to improve ahead of this weeks game.”
“The most interesting factor will be the adjustments both teams make.”
With there being a final on the line, both teams can often fall victim of the moment. Mark Jarram said this on his teams approach:
“Obviously being a knockout competition, there will be a level of urgency from both teams, which always adds more to the dynamic of the game”.
“We must be sure as a team to take the game a possession at a time, as we have a very capable team ahead of us in Hemel to deal with first.”
“Last weeks result is in the past now, when it survive and advance basketball anything can happen”.
Loughborough will have to pay special attention to AJ Roberts, as the player is capable of lighting up any game he plays in. The versatile scorer can play a range of positions and still catch fire, as he is averaging almost 20 points per game this season.
Coach Jarram has said that it’s not just AJ Roberts, they have to look out for this upcoming Sunday:
“AJ Roberts is a key player for them this season and has been scoring exceptionally well this season. However, they have one of deepest rosters in the league and many threats from all over the floor.”
“Our defence will be tested again, as we try and limit all of their talented players from multiple positions”.
With the Student Riders hoping to have a Cup final berth set in stone come to the end of the weekend. The team can then start preparing for their next game against the Worthing Thunder, this upcoming month on December the 16th.
Credit: Andy Rizvi