Sunday 1st October, Hemel Storm vs Milton Keynes Breakers, 6.00pm tip off
KitKing Trophy Quarter Final
This Sunday, Storm will be in KitKing Trophy quarter final action against Division 2 locals MK Breakers. Breakers impressed last year, taking Division 3 apart with an unbeaten 18-0 record to gain promotion to Division 2, also becoming playoff champions in Manchester.
The fixture will be a repeat of last year’s National Cup semi-final, where Storm came away 5 point victors in arguably one of the most challenging evenings they faced at the StormDome all year. The game was played at a ferocious tempo, with a high-intensity strategy employed by the Breakers causing the mostly untouchable Storm roster to become flustered.
The atmosphere was hostile in a packed-out arena, with fans from both sides bringing some serious noise, desperately pushing their side onto cup final glory. Much the same can be expected this year, as MK have assembled an even stronger squad than last year and already have experience of taking down higher level opposition, coming through their group stage filled with Division 1 talent with an impressive 2-1 record, showing they are by no means out of their depth.
Breakers started with a statement 19-point win over Nottingham Hoods, before travelling to Birmingham where they were narrowly defeated by a strong Rockets side. On Sunday evening, they faced Loughborough Riders in a battle for qualification, where they defeated the odds with a 12 point win to leave them with ambitions of a deep run into a competition where they are keen to make a statement that they truly do belong at the top level of British Basketball.
Meanwhile, Storm came through their group phase unscathed with an unbeaten 3-0 record, after overcoming Essex Rebels, newbies London Elite and Thames Valley Cavaliers. The side have shown signs of progress as the competition moved on, improving through some adversity they have faced as they look to re-establish themselves in a new era, after last year’s unprecedented success.
Seth Swalve has been the standout performer so far, averaging 23 points through the group stages while new signing Brayden Inger has also had an impressive start showing his ability to hit crucial long range shots and using his physicality to trouble opponents on the defensive side of the floor. Familiar face Sam Newman has reminded the fans of his talents with a solid start to the new campaign - the British guard featuring in back-to-back NBL Team of the Weeks - while new man Tez Allen has worked his way into the side following a small knock which delayed his introduction.
The new look roster have excited the crowds with increased pace and athleticism off the bench, helping them to fight through some tough early season challenges and set up a tantalising tie against local rivals MK Breakers.
This one is sure to be an early season thriller as both sides begin to sniff the scent of the season’s first silverware in the form of the KitKing Trophy.
Be ready for a night of fast-paced, high intensity basketball with lots up for stake and tensions sure to rise with a sold-out StormDome guaranteed.
The only way to ensure you are there is to book your tickets online, so don’t miss out and check out the link to buy tickets online here.
Written by Callum Humphrey