Worthing Thunder set for play-off semi-final

Worthing Thunder guard Jorge Ebanks is relishing Saturdays play-off semi-final trip to Loughborough Student Riders. Picture by Kyle Hemsley
Worthing Thunder guard Jorge Ebanks is relishing Saturdays play-off semi-final trip to Loughborough Student Riders. Picture by Kyle Hemsley

Worthing Thunder guard Jorge Ebanks will look to exercise some demons when his side travel to Loughborough Student Riders in the semi-finals of the National League Division 1 play-offs on Saturday.

Ebanks, who returned from a groin injury in Thunder’s 98-89 quarter-final win over Team Northumbria, has not been able to contribute like he has normally due to injury.

Thunder guard Ebanks was taken off early in the second quarter in a league meeting against Student Riders in December and was unable to play in the return fixture last month due to the injured groin.

Ebanks said: “Being honest, I don’t care who we play but at the same time, I’m glad it’s Loughborough.

“I’ve played probably eight minutes total against them this season but came off with shoulder problems then I had that issue with my groin so it’s has been frustrating, especially when we played them the second time as I didn’t play at all.

“But we hopefully head to Loughborough with a full-strength team and I know we can beat them with a full team that we have, so we have to be mentally and physically ready for them.”

Brendan Okoronkwo, who scooped Barkers Tarring MVP honours in Saturday’s crucial play-off quarter-final victory over Team Northumbria with 22 points, is looking for his team to play to their strengths against the Loughborough university side.

Okoronkwo said: “Our weakness is our size but our strength is our offence with multiple player options to put the ball in the basket.

“A lot of our players are in the top-ten in scoring, steals and assists this season and we pride ourselves on being the most exciting offensive team in the league and it’s got us to where we are now.

“We have played Loughborough twice and we have split our games with them. They don’t have many weaknesses and they are a well-organised team but we will work hard this week to prepare for them.”

Saturday’s match takes place at Victory Hall, Loughborough Park, with a 2pm tip-off.