Ipswich Basketball Club preparing for Patrons Cup Final against Huddersfield Heat at University of East London

Ipswich star centre Leigh Greenan

Ipswich star centre Leigh Greenan - Credit: Archant

It’s the final countdown for Ipswich Basketball head coach Nick Drane and his players, as they get ready to battle for national silverware in their Capital showdown with the Huddersfield Heat.

Nick Drane

Nick Drane - Credit: Archant

The Copleston-based side tip-off against their EBL Division Two bogey side at the University of East London on Saturday, in the Patrons Cup Final.

Ipswich have been beaten by the Heat twice in the league this season, while their trips to London have garnered mixed results, with “24 seconds of madness” costing them victory against London Eastside Eagles in November.

Drane, pictured right, hopes to put things right in the team’s biggest game for years.

“We feel obliged to put in performances and our more experienced players such as Leigh Greenan and captain Tom Sadler feel a big sense of responsibility,” said Drane.

“I suppose fans have to accept they have to put up with the good and bad, but 24 seconds of madness cost us at the Copperbox and we felt like we let a lot of people down that day who travelled and paid to watch us play at this level.

“We are hoping for a big following and our fingers our crossed, but that is the price you pay when you play at the level we are doing now.”

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Huddersfield, who defeated Ipswich 99-91 at the weekend, look like going up automatically with Derby, but with two teams set to join the British Basketball League, that could leave a spot open for a number of teams chasing third, including Ipswich, to also rise to Division One.

The priority remains the league, but Drane is determined to douse the Heat’s flames in the cup.

“We are not just satisfied with reaching finals and being told how well we have done. We want to win,” he said. “Huddersfield are the best team we have played in the division and that comes as no surprise given the fact they have five professional players.

“But we feel we have two or three players who can play at the professional level and we should have won the two games we lost to Huddersfield.

“This is probably the biggest game for Ipswich in 20 years and we have to put in a good attacking performance for 40 minutes, not 39.”

The Ipswich game is one of four finals on the day and tickets can be purchased by emailing Natasha Hart on nassa2012@hotmail.co.uk.

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