Worthing Thunder heads into Saturday’s NBL Division 1 playoff semi-final against Loughborough Student Riders full of confidence, as they bid to reach the final for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

No doubt, it’ll be a tough encounter for Coach D and his team as they face the newly crowned Division1 champions who have only lost four times in the league all season.

However one of those four losses came against Worthing at the Leisure Centre back in December as Zaire Taylor scored late on to hand Thunder an 82-80 win.

Loughborough exacted revenge in Thunder’s final away game of the season as they recorded a 91-76 win on their university campus.

“They gave us one of our more physical games at home this season,” said Thunder guard Jorge Ebanks, who missed their recent game with a groin injury, which he has since recovered from.

“It was a game that went down to the final possession and at that stage, we were on a high as a team. Since the turn of the year, we have lost some games and a bit of momentum but the playoffs is a new start and we feel like it’s a new season.

“It doesn’t really matter who we face really. We have beaten Loughborough before and they beat us when we were short-handed, which included me so we’ll hopefully be full strength and ready to go.”

Thunder reached the semi-finals by beating Team Northumbria. Loughborough edged Manchester Magic after overtime in their quarter-final tie.

The semi-final clash tips-off on Saturday afternoon at Victory Hall on the Loughborough University campus at 2 pm.

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