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TRIPLEHEADER GAME PREVIEW | D1 Rebels Men vs Newcastle University | Rebels Women vs Leicester Riders | D3 Rebels Men VS Hertfordshire Storm

January 12, 2024

We are excited to welcome back our fans to the Essex Sport Arena this Saturday 13th January for the inaugural home games of the new year. What better way to kick off 2024 than a Retro-themed tripleheader that includes a Women’s British Basketball League Trophy Quarter Final?

Put on your most cherished attire from the 70s, 80s, or 90s and bring the noise to what promises to be an exciting day of basketball action!

In the opening game of the day, our unbeaten D3 Essex Rebels Men will face University of Hertfordshire Storm looking to extend their perfect record to 9-0. This will be the first meeting between the two sides and will be a tough encounter as Hertfordshire Storm, currently on a 4-game winning streak, will undoubtedly seek to make a statement by beating the league leaders. Come out and support our D3 men’s team as they look to continue their excellent form from the first half of the season.


The day will continue with our women’s team taking on Leicester Riders in the Betty Codona Trophy Quarter Final. In this crucial encounter, the Rebels will be looking for revenge following a narrow loss to the Riders early December. Having only suffered one loss to table leaders, London Lions, Leicester Riders find themselves in a very good form and will certainly be coming to the Essex Sport Arena with a lot of confidence. Nevertheless, our women have found their form of late in recent games, finishing the first half of the season with two convincing wins against Sheffield Hatters and Cardiff Met Archers.

The last time the two teams met, Leicester Riders came out on top with a 70-79 win at home. With four players currently averaging 10+ points per game, it will be a tough task for the Rebels, but with the Trophy Semi Finals on the line, there is no doubt that the Rebels will give everything they have.

A win on Saturday will see our women’s team face the winner of Manchester Giants vs Nottingham Wildcats at home on Saturday 20th January in the Betty Codona Trophy Semi-Finals.


“We are keen to get back in front of our home crowd and put in a good performance against a tough Riders side. We were disappointed with our performance in league play against them last month and we will bring those learning forward to this weekend.”



Leicester Riders have an established reputation as one of the most competitive clubs in the Women’s British Basketball League. Since joining the league from the inaugural season in 2014-15, Leicester are no strangers to success. Over their nine seasons in the top tier of women’s basketball, Leicester have finished play-offs runners-up 3 times, won the WBBL cup twice and triumphed in the Betty Codona Trophy on three occasions. Always well prepared for every game, the Riders continuously set a standard of high performance in the league.


Finishing 3rd in the league last year, Leicester Riders have gone through a complete restructure retaining only 2 players from last year’s roster – Jessica Eadsforth-Yates and McKenzie Johnston. Newcomers O’Brien, Peeples, and Ashby, amongst others, have settled nicely with their new team each averaging double (10+) points per game making the Riders a tough team to beat.


It has been a very successful first half of the season for Leicester Riders (5-1) who have only lost one game so far. Despite being two games behind, they currently hold the impressive 4th position in the league standings. The last game the Riders played was a month ago against our very own Essex Rebels women where they prevailed with a 70–79 win.


Leicester Riders have a new but experienced team with many players that can cause problems for the Rebels on Saturday. With that being said, the key players to look out for are US imports Taylor O’Brien and Rayven Peeples.

Averaging an impressive 19.7 ppg, O’Brien is the main offensive threat for the visitors and is certainly someone the Rebels will need to control in order to win. During last matchup against the Rebels, O’Brien scored an impressive team-high 20 points.

Another player to keep an eye on is Rayven Peeples who is averaging a double-double with 14.7 ppg and 11 rebounds. Playing as centre, Peeples is a force under the basket and can create a lot of problems for our team if allowed.


The final game of the day will see the Essex Rebels D1 Men take on Newcastle University at the Essex Sport Arena for the first time this season. The Rebels return home after a heart-breaking loss to Reading Rockets in the National Cup Semi Finals last weekend and no doubt will be determined to bounce back and return to winning ways.

However, this will not be an easy task as Newcastle University will be looking to extend their winning streak following an impressive 126-94 win against Nottingham Hoods. Currently standing 5th in the league with a 7-2 record, Newcastle are playing great basketball and consistently posting high numbers on the scoreboard.

Adding an intriguing element to the game is the return of former Rebel, Josh Moore, to the Essex Sport Arena. Josh played a pivotal role in helping the Rebels gain Division 1 promotion two seasons ago and knows how to play in front of our incredible fans, adding an extra layer of excitement to an already compelling game.


“We are looking forward to playing back at home and especially on a triple header weekend. Our match up against Newcastle will be a tough battle. They are a well-coached team with some solid guys who know how to get it done. We will have to be sharp with our prep and be ready to execute for 40 minutes!”



Since re-joining NBL Division 1 in the 2020/21 season, Newcastle University have been improving year on year. In addition to competing in NBL Division 1, the team also provides a BBL pathway to talented players under 23 through their partnership with the Newcastle Eagles basketball club.


In the last two meetings between the teams last season, the Rebels lost both games.


The main players to keep an eye on are American imports Logan Rooney and Justin Hopkins. Currently the top two scorers in the league, Rooney and Hopkins are boasting impressive averages of 25.1 and 23.1 ppg respectively and can prove hard to stop when on top of their game.

Don’t miss out on the first home games of 2024. Bring your retro attire and get behind the Essex Rebels in what promises to be an electrifying day of basketball action! We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

Tickets are still available on Eventbrite. Don’t miss out and secure your tickets now!

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