New year, Smith still 50/50 to coach this weekend. - 03/01/2012
Worthing Thunder return from their extended Christmas break this Saturday when they square off against old foes, Brixton Topcats at the Worthing Leisure Centre.
The players were back in training last week and felt relaxed and ready for action.
“The holidays went pretty well, I didn't return home to the US, so a few people involved with the Thunder had us over to eat, and I'm very appreciative for that,” said guard Vinnie Darpino.
“I think the time away gave our bodies a chance to rest up a bit. Fortunately we did get to use the gym a few days, which we were able to play. I think with a week of training we will regroup, sharpen up and head into Saturday’s game with Brixton right where we left off.”
Forward Marcus Tullis focused more on the big basketball news that happened on Christmas Day.
“A night of NBA round JB’s. That’s what I did,” Tullis said with a grin.
“Had a great Christmas dinner here though and it was relaxing. Really enjoyed it.”
Worthing coach Gary Smith unfortunately wasn’t all smiles during the festive break. The veteran play caller is still unwell and is again 50/50 to lead his side this weekend. Meaning that assistant coach James Brame might continue his coaching reign.
“I feel bad man,” Smith said. “I’ve been off for four weeks now, but I’m definitely towards the end of this illness. I’ll be back.”
Ever the basketball fanatic though, Smith is extremely keen to talk about this weekend’s game with Brixton.
“We are no doubt in a good situation the last seven, eight games and every games. We’ve shown improvement in all aspects in our game and James has gained some fantastic experience over this,” Smith said.
“We had two practice sessions where we’ve been working on our weaknesses over the last week-or-so, and everything is great, James and I are happy with what we are seeing.
“Saturday’s game with Brixton will be tough, they have a nice balance over there, and they all play hard and we have to be on top of our game,” Smith continued. “They beat us last time and we got to do what we do, we’ve been on form and we are looking to build on that.”
Worthing Thunder will start 2012 joint top with Bristol Academy Flyers, so a win on Saturday is of massive importance.
“All games in the league are important, but this is the period where it really matters,” Smith said.
“The guys have to focus and play the way James has got them to play in the last month-or-so.”
Tip-off at the Worthing Leisure Centre is at 7.30pm.
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