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Essex Leopards head to Tees Valley Mohawks for National Trophy opener
ESSEX Leopards head to Tees Valley Mohawks for their National Trophy opener tomorrow on the back of a weekend where they split their two pre-season games.
The Big Cats lost 93-88 against Team USA Select A on Friday night before beating a mixture of their A and B team 92-88 the following evening.
New signing Taner Adu led the scoring on both nights, finishing with 32 points on Friday before adding 26 the following evening and American big man Greg Hernandez showed glimpses of why he won Division Two's Most Valuable Player award last season with 21 points on Saturday.
The duo's displayed delighted coach Robert Youngblood, who did not play in the weekend’s game.
But he also felt there was plenty to work on.
“We need to cut down on the turnovers, and improve our foul shooting, but it was a good start considering we’ve only practiced three times,” said Youngblood.
“There were some good performances out there but we have to keep on improving.”
Leopards' trip to Middlesbrough this weekend will be the first of six National Trophy games.
The top four sides in the seven-team group going through to the quarter-finals but the Mohawks will be a tough first game.
The north east side struggled upon their return to the EBL Division One last season, although they reached the National Cup semi-final where they found the Big Cats too strong.
However, they recruited well this season and should provide a much tougher test this term.