Basketball: Essex Leopards look forward to Patrons Cup opener

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 September 2017

Essex Leopards coach Tom Baker talks to his players

Essex Leopards coach Tom Baker talks to his players


Levett Essex Leopards coach Thomas Baker is in confident mood ahead of their Patrons Cup season opener against Nottingham Hoods at the Brentwood Centre on Sunday (4pm).

AJ Roberts in action for Essex Leopards against Reading AJ Roberts in action for Essex Leopards against Reading

The Big Cats go into the encounter on the back of a 90-80 victory against Division One title favourites Reading Rockets in their final pre-season game last weekend, which has given Baker plenty of food for thought ahead of this weekend’s first competitive fixture.

“There’s a great feeling amongst the guys and everyone is invested in getting better one step at a time,” said Baker.

“We are ready to go and we are really excited for this journey together this season and we know what is expected of us moving forward.

“Now it’s time to get down to business. We have spoken a lot as a team about how we want this season to go, now it’s time for us to deliver.

“We have shown at times that this year we will be the team to beat, but we have also shown at times that we are still growing and developing together. No one is going to hand us victories and that’s been proven, so we must be willing to out-work teams.

“The performance against Rockets pleased me a lot. The result itself was good but how the result came was the key. The game had everything and the growth we have shown in a week is just a snippet of how much we can still grow collectively.

“We showed that we can fight through adversity and also showed we can hurt teams in multiple ways.”

Sunday’s game sees Leopards’ debut in the Patrons Cup as the Big Cats begin life in the second tier of the NBL, and the format of the competition means there is no room for error as the Big Cats look to reach the final four.

With a side containing former England international David Watts, Hoods finished sixth in the 12-team Division Two last season, winning 10 of their 22 games, but went out of the play-offs at the first stage. They won their Patrons Cup group, but lost in the semi-final against eventual winners Newcastle University.

In Saturday’s surprise win against Rockets, AJ Roberts led the way with 24 points, while Ruben Saiz Colon added 15 and Shaq Lewis 14.

Brentwood-based guards Will Ashby (12) and Dougie Bennett (11) also finished in double figures as the Big Cats led from tip to buzzer.

Latest Romford Sports News

2 minutes ago

Deal that would see New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox play in Newham said to be close to being agreed

An Errol McKellar Celebrity XI will do battle with Martin Ling’s London Legends on May 27 in aid of Prostate Cancer UK and East Herts Mind Network


Raiders defenceman Julian Smith was delighted to help see off Bracknell in the first round of the National League play-offs at the weekend.

Yesterday, 17:00

Havering rivals had been due to meet on Saturday, but game fell foul of weather for second time this month

Yesterday, 16:55

Dagenham & Redbridge striker Chike Kandi is enjoying the competition and pressure of being at the National League outfit.

Yesterday, 16:00

Estate agent Gary Singh won chance to manage Essex club in fundraising friendly against Premier League side Hammers

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Raiders completed home-and-away wins over Bracknell in front of a packed Romford crowd to book their place in the semi-finals of the National League play-offs.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Alastair Cook admits it is a daily struggle to conquer the self-doubts which can constrain even his all-time record run-scoring habits.


Fed up with haggling on people’s drives over a used car, only to find out later it’s on its last legs?

Many drivers will be heading to the showrooms in March looking to pick up a car bearing the shiny new 18 registration plate.

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now