Double Header to Start 2021
It's a big weekend for Wolves as they go in search of two NBL Division One victories.
Thomas Baker's team visit Essex Rebels on Saturday afternoon before hosting Leicester Warriors the following day. Unfortunately both games are to be played behind closed doors.
Both of Wolves' opponents this weekend are in the same position as Baker's side in that they head into the action looking for their first victory of the campaign and captain Jordan Santiago is looking forward to getting back into action after almost a month off
"The whole club is ready and eager to get on court this weekend" he said. "Two wins would put us in a great place to take on the second half of the season. I also think this weekends games across the league are important to prove we can finish the season, implementing the new testing protocols is a big step towards that."
Saturday's game will see a return to Essex Sports Arena where Wolves' predecessors, Leopards, played in the 2018/19 season before finding their new, permanent, home at Oaklands. The hometown Rebels won Division Two South last season, and four of their current line-up played for the Big Cats during their time in Colchester with Sam Newman, Tom Child, Rory Winter and Andre Lavinier expected to face their former club on Saturday.
Rebels' L Lynch Trophy saw three heavy defats against Solent Kestrels, Barking Abbey and Worthing Thunder in a group staged at Solent, and they returned to the south coast to open their league campaign with a 98-64 loss against champions Kestrels. They sat out the action during the rest of 2020 before resuming league play with a large 118-72 loss at Barking Abbey last week.
The game tips off at 3pm and can be watched here: NBL1: Essex Rebels v Oaklands Wolves- 16.01.21 - YouTube
Sunday's opponents Leicester Warriors also lost all three Trophy games and their five league defeats have been a mixture of blowout loss and tight games, including a heart-breaker against neighbours Loughborough Riders. Carl Pearson and Leon Henry bring plenty of experience for the Warriors, who are coached by BBL veteran and former England international Karl Brown. His teams are renowned for their never-say-die attitude and Sunday's game is likely to go down to the final minute with Wolves showing similar fighting qualities this season.
Due to Covid-19 forcing last season to be aborted the teams only once last season, with Leopards going down 94-85 at Braunstone Leisure Centre in an overtime thriller.
The weekend will also see the first appearances in a Wolves' kit for American guard/forward AJ Roberts.