Hemel Storm’s final big push for playoff positioning will be decided on their own court this weekend with the final two fixtures of the regular season culminating at their Sportspace home.
Storm are sitting in the seventh spot in the Division One league table with the top-eight making the post-season.
Hemel took a big step towards solidifying their playoff place on Saturday when they beat the in-form Kent Crusaders, who were just two points behind them going into the crunch game.
A chance to further extend their lead over the chasing pack was then denied on Sunday when they slipped to defeat to Leicester Warriors in a game marred by over-zealous officiating.
It means Hemel are now on the same number of points as eighth-placed Manchester Magic but sit above them in the standings on points differential.
They have a four-point lead over Leicester and Kent in ninth and 10th place, respectively, while Bradford Dragons are only two points ahead of Hemel in sixth place.
The ideal scenario this weekend would be two victories and a Bradford loss to propel Storm a slot higher in the standings and ensure they end their regular season campaign on a high.
It’s certainly an advantage that Hemel’s final two games will be played in front of their enthusiastic supporters at Sportspace this weekend. On Saturday the league’s second-placed side Solent Kestrels are the visitors (tip-off 7pm) while on Sunday, at the earlier tip-off time of 1.30pm, Storm will face bottom-but-one team Derby Trailblazers.
Storm’s coach Robert Youngblood said: “We’re playing with some injury problems at the moment that have affected our rotations but if we can get through this weekend’s games and qualify for the playoffs we’ll have a couple of weeks for the niggles to recover and to get ready.
“I don’t care who we meet in the playoffs, our team has the potential in one-off games to beat anyone in the country, as we proved by our National Cup run and victory.
“I don’t think any [playoff]opponent will want to see the Storm black and orange.”
For tickets or further details, visit the website www.stormbasketball.net.