GREG Hernandez will be out to help the Essex Leopards reach the quarter finals of the National Trophy with a win at Hemel Storm on Saturday.

Victory will guarantee a place in the last eight of the competition for the Basildon based side.

And Hernandez is keen to play a prominent part in securing another positive result.

“I want us to go there, get a big win and get through our Trophy pool,” said Hernandez.

“I expect Hemel to be prepared, well drilled and up for any challenge that is thrown at them because I have some familiarity of playing against them in Division Two last year.

“It will be a great match to watch and I’m confident we’ll win it.”

Leopards go in to the game on the back of beating Worthing Thunder 90-64 in the Trophy at the Basildon Sporting Village on Sunday.

Hernandez bagged 12 points during the victory and also led the way with 22 points the previous evening on his debut against the Leicester Warriors.

That was not enough to prevent a disappointing 88-83 defeat but Hernandez was just pleased to be back playing after missing the start of the season with a foot injury.

“It was very frustrating missing the matches,” said Hernandez, who was with the Glamorgan Gladiators last season.

“We finally had a full team together with Carl (Josey) and Simmon (Cummings) coming in but then I got hurt.

“I injured the joints and ligaments in my right foot surrounding my fourth and fifth metatarsal but the club were very patient with me during that and they treated me with a great level of professionalism.”

Hernandez, who plays at centre, is now keen to repay Leopards with influential performances which can lead to the Big Cats picking up more silverware.

“We want to compete for all the championships and continue the great tradition the Leopards have as the club moves on to the BBL next year,” said Hernandez.

“I’m really thankful for the opportunity they’ve given me and hope we all have a good year together.”