GAME PREVIEW | D1 REBELs MEN VS THAMES VALLEY CAVALIERS
Essex Rebels D1 Men are gearing up for an exhilarating clash as they go head-to-head against the Thames Valley Cavaliers in a National Basketball League Division 1 showdown this Saturday.
Essex Rebels find themselves in a respectable 7th position in the league, riding high on the back of a promising 3-1 record. Last weekend, they secured their most impressive victory of the season yet, triumphing over the Bradford Dragons with a 107-100 scoreline on the road.
Kyron Martin emerged as a standout performer, delivering an incredible 24-point contribution off the bench, including a remarkable 6/10 shooting performance from beyond the arc. The supporting cast of Luke Busumbru, Zain Poorman, Victor Olarerin, and Ebuka Ekwegh all made significant contributions with double-digit scoring, showcasing the team’s depth of talent this season.
The Rebels have been dominant at the Essex Sport Arena, maintaining an unbeaten record so far. Their victories against Worthing Thunder (73-66) on the opening day and Barking Abbey (90-68) in their last outing highlight that they are thriving under the home crowd’s support.
Standing in their way are the Thames Valley Cavaliers, currently sitting in 10th place in the league table. The Cavaliers have faced a tough start to the season, losing four consecutive games after an opening win away to Bradford Dragons. Eager to turn their fortunes around, the Cavaliers will be aiming to make a statement against the Essex Rebels.
WHAT COACH NORFOLK HAS TO SAY:
“We are looking forward to playing back at home and continuing the momentum we have built over the last few games. Thames Valley are a tough outfit with some experienced players that know how to get it done. We hope the Rebels fans can provide us with the energy as we enjoy the celebration of Diwali and look to come away with the win.”
WHO ARE THAMES VALLEY CAVALIERS?
The Thames Valley Cavaliers are a semi-professional basketball club, based in the Uxbridge area of West London who play their home games at Uxbridge College
Formed in 2011, the Cavaliers have rapidly ascended through the lower divisions of English basketball. The club, which started life as the senior team for the Bracknell Cobras junior basketball club, entered National League competition for the first time in 2012.The men’s team split from the junior club to form the Cavaliers in 2014, and with a focus on elite player development, the team was promoted to the National Basketball League Division 1 in 2018. In their first season in Division 1, they secured a top 4 finish and reached the semi-finals of the end-of-season playoffs.
Cavaliers have been active in the recruitment market this summer, signing Cheshire Academy graduate Timi Toluogunkoya from US side Florida Tech. They were also able to lure Igor Stokic away from fellow NBL Division 1 side Barking Abbey, who was arguably their standout player last season, averaging 13.5 points per game.
Other notable recruits include Mergim Sokoli from London United, and Kai Walker from Solent Kestrels.
The Cavaliers come into the game off a disappointing four-game losing streak, losing to Nottingham Hoods last weekend 96-87. Prior to this, Cavaliers came up short in closely fought games against Birmingham Rockets (86-103), Reading Rockets (83-93) and Loughborough Riders (96-106).
Cavaliers finished a respectable 6th place last season with a 13-13 overall record in the league.
LAST TIME OUT
Rebels welcomed the Cavaliers to the Essex Sport Arena on 23 September as they faced off in the group stages of the KitKing Trophy.
Rebels came away victorious with a winning score line of 84-73, with Ebuka Ekwegh leading the team scoring with 14 points closely followed by Trey Chapman with 13 points.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Look out for Bode Adeluola who is going into his second season as a Cavalier. The veteran guard made a name for himself at Hemel Storm where he spent 10 seasons and is arguably one of the best players to have played in the NBL Division 1.
Now at Cavaliers, Adeluola has continued to post impressive stats, averaging 16.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists last season. In the opening five games of the season this year, Adeluola leads the team with an average of 21.6 points, putting him 7th in the league overall.
Before last season, Thames Valley finished in 2nd place in the league for three successive seasons, narrowly missing out on the coveted championship title despite commendable and consistent performances in the Division 1 league.
Tickets are still available on Eventbrite. Don’t miss out and secure your tickets now as Rebels basketball returns!