Away weekend for NBL Lions
It's a weekend on the road for London Lions' NBL Division One teams as they look to improve their league records.
The men face a long trip to face Team Newcastle University while the women are off to East Anglian to play Ipswich.
It's a key game for James Vear's men's side who go into the weekend sitting sixth in the table with a 7-5 record while Newcastle are two places behind having won six of their 11 games.
After finishing fifth in their first season back in Division One, Newcastle have continued to improve and reached the L Lynch Trophy final where they lost to Derby Trailblazers. But they have a second chance of lifting some silverware having reached the National Cup final where they will face holders Solent Kestrels after the south coast side knocked Lions out last week.
Led by 22 Brandon Kaboza points, Lions won a thriller when Mark Elderkin's team came to Barking Abbey in October as a 24-14 fourth period saw them chalk up an 89-87 success. Ronald Blain hit 29 points in that game and the American is clearly the man to stop as he is averaging a 28.9 point, 10.2 rebound double-double which puts him second in the league standings for both categories.
Meanwhile, David Lavinier's young women's team, consisting entirely of academy players, have found the going tough this season, but they went agonisingly close to beating Ipswich when the teams met at Barking Abbey before slipping to a 59-56 defeat. Fatmata Jannah led Lions with 26 points that day, and she has been the keen player for the Lions as she leads the Division One scorers table with 23.9 points per game, adding . She will come up against the player closest to her in the race to be the competition's top scorer as Ava Battessa is averaging 18.6ppg for Ipswich.
While Lions go into the game 11th in the 12-team division with one win from 10 games, Ipswich sit fourth in the table with a 5-3 record.