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Essex Leopards Baker delighted with final pre-season match

PUBLISHED: 14:00 25 September 2018

The latest news from the local basketball scene (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA)

The latest news from the local basketball scene (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Essex Leopards coach Thomas Baker was delighted as the Big Cats wrapped up pre-season with a 90-83 victory at Reading Rockets on Saturday.

The home side are expected to challenge for the Division One title this season, and although neither side were at full strength, a strong finish to the game saw Baker’s side overturn a big deficit after trailing for the first 25 minutes of the game.

“Firstly a massive thanks goes to Coach Keane and the Rockets organisation for putting on the friendly,” Baker said.

“We started off competing really hard we just weren’t getting the rewards we wanted.

“We could have easily caved in but the guys showed commitment and togetherness that I am sure we will need to shown again this season.

“We were able to stay focused and fight for little things we needed.

“The guys are really open to learning and the culture we’re building was demonstrated throughout in this game.

“It is massive confidence boost to come away with a win but my message to them after the game was about staying humble and continuing to work. We learnt a lot but still a lot to learn.

“With people missing it was positive to see what we could be like.

“Now we have to tighten up a few things and keep focussing on the small details that lead to bigger things.”

Leopards will now face trips to Thames Valley Cavaliers in the National Trophy and Team Derby in the National Cup at the weekend.

Baker added: “I am really looking forward to starting the season next weekend.

“I am excited to see where this season will take us, it will be about adapting and evolving one game at a time.”

Four Leopards finished in double figures, with Dion Easton Jnr leading the way on 18, Sam Newman 16, Luke Mascall-Wright getting hot in the second half to drop 13 and Chuck Duru hitting ten in an excellent personal performance as he filled in for Hodges during their final pre-season match.

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