Storm travel to Birmingham in a must win game

15/03/2024

Saturday’s encounter sees Hemel Storm travel to the City of Birmingham Rockets in what is an important game for Storm to keep any hopes of a back-to-back league title alive. Storm will be confident heading into this fixture after last weekend’s heroics from Veron Eze and a valiant performance in Sunday’s game away to Reading Rockets.

Having been promoted from NBL Division Two, the Rockets have been quick to retain and recruit quality talent to their roster. They currently hold the final playoff position, sitting 8th and will be keen to hold on to this position amid the ongoing challenge from both Nottingham Hoods and Thames Valley Cavaliers. This game will be just as important to Birmingham as it is for Storm, so the away side must remain focused and deliver a professional performance to get the win.

In terms of talent that the Rockets hold, the standout threat would be from Commonwealth Gold Medalist Orlan Jackman, who has had many matchups with Storm during his time in the NBL. Having previously represented BBL teams such as the Cheshire Phoenix and the Newcastle Eagles, the 35 year old has posted an average double figures in each of his professional teams, which will be something to highlight from a Storm perspective. Alongside his ability to score, Jackman remains a dominant presence inside the paint, securing an average of 11.5 rebounds per game. However, he will be matched up with Darien Nelson-Henry, who comes into the game having posted 33 points away to the Reading Rockets with an impressive performance.

Alongside Jackman, Birmingham have other threats such as Canadian guard Jayden Grewal, former Reading Rocket Sam Toluwase and Martin Gayle, who are all capable of producing fantastic performances between them. Coached by Nuno Rodrigues, the Rockets will look to employ a high tempo game of basketball. Having had many occasions where Birmingham force a turnover high up the court, many points have been scored from this, so Storm must remain focused, and execute off their possessions.

The Rockets will also be keen to avenge their previous defeat to Storm, after a fantastic performance from Storm resulted in a convincing 92-60 victory for them. That game was a high intensity, fantastic performance from Storm, thriving off the home crowd advantage to secure the victory on that occasion.

This is the first time Storm have travelled away to the City of Birmingham Rockets, so they will be keen to start off a fantastic record on the road, as many matchups will come in the future. This is an important match for Storm, who as always, will be backed by a vociferous travelling support. It is sure to be an entertaining match between two highly energetic teams. Tickets are available by clicking here.

Storm return to home action NEXT WEEKEND with games on both days. Saturday’s hosting of Nottingham Hoods tips at 7, while Sunday’s hosting of Essex Rebels kicks off at 6. Tickets for both games are available via stormbasketball.net.

Written by Ollie Heathcote

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