Hemel Storm opened the 2015/16 basketball season in Cambridge on Sunday with a comfortable 106-61 victory over the feisty Cambridge Cats in a first round National Cup game.
Storm were without their dynamic guard Bode Adeluola – who rejoins the club this week after attending a professional player development camp in Portugal – or their new British-American signing Nikolas Rhodes who arrived from California on Monday.
All of Hemel’s key players have returned from last year’s roster but a new coaching team of former international head coach Dave Titmuss and assistants Dave Allin and Gary Maitland has taken over.
A dominant first period on Sunday ended 27-7 in Hemel’s favour as 18-year-old back-up point guard Nick Allin orchestrated their free-flowing offence and committed defence.
The second stanza was a carbon copy of the first, with all 10 Hemel players being substituted into the game, and a 57-19 half-time lead effectively ended the match as a contest.
Although there were encouraging early signs that Storm’s new technical approach will be effective throughout the season, a philosophical Titmuss said: “We’ve started our preparations late this year for reasons out of our control and we’re probably six weeks away from really gelling as a team.
“I have a great deal of respect for what Cambridge coach Pete Charlwood has done with the Cats but we didn’t learn much technically from the game because we just had too much talent for them to handle.
“But we were able to begin ingraining some of the individual and team habits that are important to putting a team in a position to win.”
Storm travel to Division One rivals Worthing Thunder on Saturday for a National Trophy Pool game.