After a whirlwind season that has seen plenty of change, Worthing Thunder head into Sunday’s NBL Division 1 final against Hemel Storm in Manchester with plenty of confidence.

The last time Thunder met Hemel was in February at the Worthing Leisure Centre with Worthing picking up a 78-72 win. Hemel though have beaten Worthing 91-89 thanks to a late bucket from Wayne Yeboah in the first game between the two in November.

Brendan Okoronkwo led Thunder with 21 points and eight rebounds in the home win over Hemel and he is a survivor of the Worthing side that lost in the playoff final in 2013 against Reading Rockets.

Okoronkwo admitted that that was a fairytale run that unfortunately didn’t get the ending that it deserved. With the experience of that, he hopes to keep the emotions in check on Sunday.

“2013 was a Cinderella story run that fell short at the final moments,” Okoronkwo recalls.

“Having been on this stage before I feel confident I can handle the emotions of the moment and play my part to come out with a better outcome this time.”

Okoronkwo has also said that the one place where he wants plenty of emotion is from the Thunder supporters in the bleachers. There will be over 100 Worthing fans travelling up north on Sunday morning, which the captain says will be amazing.

“Our crowd support has carried us this season, it’s been incredible,” Okoronkwo says. “To hear so many are coming to be part of the weekend motivates us, even more, to go out and make them proud.”

The NBL Division 1 playoff final against Hemel Storm tips-off at 3:30 pm on Sunday afternoon, if you unable to travel up to Manchester on the day then you can watch the game live on the National Basketball League Facebook page.


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