This weekend sees D2 side Northamptonshire Titans travel to “heavy-hitter” Hemel Storm in the last 16 of the National Cup – and Titans’ head coach is aiming to claim a major scalp.
Titans are in good from coming into the cup tie – currently 4-0 in the league – but on Sunday face arguably the biggest test the club has faced in its eight years of existence.
But head coach Barry Powell says performing a giant killing feat against Storm is not beyond Titans.
He said: “We are ready to go against Hemel. We have a roster that can give Hemel a run for their money and we are approaching the game to win it.
“It’s a mouth-watering tie, and is what we have played for all this time. We want to play against these top sides, and Storm are certainly a heavy-hitter.
“It will be a huge test for us, but it’s not beyond us.
“We are not going to Hemel just for a day out. We are going there to compete and try to win, and we are going into the fixture with confidence levels high.
“Playing in front of their home crowd will be great too. They’re a big and loud crowd, and it will be a good experience for our guys. We can’t wait to perform in front of them.”
It has been a rapid rise for Titans since the club was established just eight years ago.
Titans now have two senior men’s sides, and teams across all age groups for both boys and girls.
And Powell says the club is aiming to be playing in D1 next year.
The Titans head coach said: “There is a lot of momentum surrounding the club at the moment, and where we’ve got to in such a short time has been incredible really.
“We are competing well in D2, but next year we want to achieve D1 status.
“It’s crucial for the development of academy players to see that they can aspire to the top levels of the game in this country.
“The club has gone from strength to strength, and it just shows there is a basketball appetite in this country.
“Playing against Hemel will be a good acid test for us ahead of us hopefully being in D1 ourselves next season.
“It will show us where we are at right now against such a renowned and well-established D1 team.”
The last 16 National Cup fixture gets underway on Sunday at 5pm.