Essex Leopards back in Southend on Sunday for National Trophy clash with Bradford Dragons (From Echo)
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Essex Leopards back in Southend on Sunday for National Trophy clash with Bradford Dragons
ESSEX Leopards begin their defence of the National Trophy on Sunday afternoon when Bradford Dragons are the visitors to Southend’s Garon Park.
The Big Cats won the competition with a 99-91 overtime win against Tees Valley Mohawks last season.
And skipper Carl Josey is hoping for more success this time around.
“I’m looking forward to getting the serious stuff under way at the weekend and we’re hoping for another good season,” said Josey.
“I think we’ve got a squad here which is a step up from last season and we want to get more silverware under our belts because that’s certainly within our capabilities.
“It will also be good to come back to Southend where we had good support last season and hopefully we will again on Sunday because it’s important to get off to a good start.”
Leopards hope this will be their last season at English Basketball League level before stepping up to the British Basketball League.
That quest will get underway with the National Trophy, which is the EBL Division One League Cup.
The 14 teams are initially divided into two groups of seven teams, who play each other once.
The top four in each group progress to the quarter-finals, with the incentive of a top-two finish being home court advantage in the last eight.
Dragons started their season with a 70-60 loss at Medway Park Crusaders last Saturday but bounced back the following day to hammer Childwall Basketball 110-35 in the National Cup. The Yorkshire side missed out on the play-offs last season, after fading in the second half of the campaign.
Sunday’s game at the Garon Park venue tips off at 4pm with tickets available on the door or on the club’s official website www.leopardsbasketball.co.uk.
The following weekend sees Leopards host Manchester Magic at the Brentwood Centre on Saturday before Barking Abbey also visit Southend the following day in the National Cup, tip-off 5.30pm.