WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club coach Daniel Hildreth says his side go into Sunday’s National Cup final with Manchester Magic as massive underdogs.
Thunder head into the game on the back of three successive losses, while Magic sit top of the National League with 12 wins from 13 matches and are also in the semi-finals of the National Trophy.
Hildreth’s men might also be without key forward Tomas Seduikis, who has a two-game ban to serve after his ejection from the Kent match earlier this month. Thunder were waiting to hear from Basketball England this week when Seduikis’s ban will begin.
Hildreth is also hopeful that guard Tom Ward recovers from a slight back injury which saw him miss the defeats to Leicester and Reading at the weekend.
Looking ahead to the final, which takes place at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, with a 3.30pm tip-off, Hildreth said: “We’re not going in to the game with any momentum but some of our best wins this season have been when our backs have been against the wall, or when we’ve lost the night before.
“We know we’re massive underdogs but I’m not going to say we’ve got nothing to lose. We go into the game with everything to gain.
“They are top of the league and have only lost one game, they’re also in the semi-finals of the Trophy and are looking to retain the National Cup.
“However, it’s a one-off game at a neutral venue and anything can happen. It’s a great achievement for the club and this group of players and I’m so proud of them for getting to the final.
“The pressure is on Manchester to retain the cup. I think it will be a close game but you never know what’s going to happen in a final.
“There might be an unexpected hero or one of your experienced players might pick up a couple of early fouls and not be that involved.
“It’s the beauty of sport in that you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Thunder had extra training sessions to prepare for the final this week and are staying in Sheffield on Saturday night.
Follow @Worthing_Sport on Twitter for live updates during Sunday’s final.
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