Thunder prepare for first home playoff encounter in six years against Team Northumbria Worthing Thunder captain Brendan Okoronkwo admits that Team Northumbria will be a much different opposition to the one that they faced in the regular season. This is because of the added pressure of the playoffs, where Thunder are making their first showing since the 2014-15 season where they lost 92-83 in the quarter-finals to the Derby Trailblazers. Okoronkwo was in that squad on that night and wants this season’s team to go even further as the road to Manchester begins. “We’re taking the playoffs one game at a time, and if we don’t prepare for this specific threat then our post-season will be over quick,” said Okoronkwo. “Playoff games always come with added pressure, which is why our home court and fans will play a big part in helping us handle the occasion.” Thunder ended the NBL Division 1 campaign in fourth place and Team Northumbria in fifth. Both teams split the season series but it was Worthing who claimed the head-to-head as their win at home was greater than Northumbria’s at Sport Central. Thunder’s first home playoff game since 2012 tips-off at 7:30 pm on Saturday at the Worthing Leisure Centre. The winners will face either Loughborough Student Riders or Manchester Magic in the semi-finals.