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Basketball: Leopards coach Baker ready for 'massive' start to 2020

PUBLISHED: 14:58 31 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:58 31 December 2019

Leopards coach Tom Baker talks to his players (pic Paul Phillips)

Leopards coach Tom Baker talks to his players (pic Paul Phillips)

Archant

Leopards begin the new year with a massive weekend and coach Thomas Baker is well aware of the importance of their double-header.

The Big Cats travel to Barking Abbey for a key relegation scrap on Saturday before the following day sees reigning champions Solent Kestrels visit the Brentwood Centre.

Both games tip-off at 4pm and with a big crowd expected at Brentwood advance booking is recommended at leopardsbasketball.co.uk.

"It is important we have a strong start to this part of the season, I am looking forward to getting back on court with the guys and hitting the ground running in 2020," said Baker.

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"These games will be a great test for us to show what we are made of. Barking Abbey recently won the BTM tournament at Christmas and will be buoyed by that, and Solent are currently undefeated.

"I believe we can improve our fortunes for this part of the season and the guys do too. We have a good run of home games to start this part of the season and it will be great to play in front of a packed crowd on Sunday at the Brentwood Centre."

Leopards and Barking Abbey go into Saturday's crunch encounter with only one National League Division One win apiece and with the sides yet to meet this season it's a vital game for both teams.

In contrast, Kestrels are busy steamrollering their way to a second successive league title and have won their first 13 league games as well as reaching the National Cup semi-final.

Their average margin of victory in the league has been 33.3 points per game and would undoubtedly be higher if Liverpool had shown up for their game on the south coast in November.

The only problem for the Southampton team has been a leaky roof at their six-month old venue which has damaged the main court.

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