London Lions' two NBL Division One teams will be looking to move up the table when they return to action on Saturday with a pair of key games.
The women's side are on the road again as they visit Nottingham Trent University in a basement battle while the men host strugglers Oaklands Wolves at Barking Abbey. Tip-off is at 4pm with admission free for fans who want to watch the club's young players.
Lions women travel to the midlands sitting second from bottom in the table with a 1-10 record, while Nottingham are the only side below them having lost all 11 games. A 41-22 run across the middle periods proved key as Lions won the meeting 61-49 between the teams at Barking Abbey earlier in the campaign and they will need to repeat that victory if they are to avoid a bottom two finish and probable relegation.
Meanwhile the men, who will be coached by Pierce Maslam following James Vear's promotion to acting coach of the BBL side, will be looking to repeat victories against the Wolves in both Division One and the National Cup this season, while the club's academy side have also beaten the Herts team in the EABL. Last week's narrow home loss against Loughborough followed by a heavy defeat at Nottingham Hoods saw Lee Ryan's Wolves drop to the bottom of the Division One table with a 1-12 record, but a fighting performance against Riders showed that they can still cause problems if taken lightly. Former Lions Jonathon James and Jordon Jackson lead the Wolves with 14.9ppg and 12.7ppg respectively, while Mike New junior, son of the Lions legend, also brings 12.7 points and a team-high 6/2 rebounds per game.
While he has stepped up to coach in the BBL for the rest of the season, Vear remains at big part of the Lions' academy set-up and expects a tough game on Saturday afternoon:
"They have some good pieces, the big [Jordan Jackson] is a great signing for them, they're just a bit inexperienced at times with a lot of academy players being asked to step up."