Huge test for Oaklands Wolves as champions provide next opposition in WBBL and NBL

Orlan Jackman in action for Leopards against Thames Valley Cavaliers.

Orlan Jackman makes his return to Oaklands Wolves in the clash against Solent Kestrels. - Credit: OAKLANDS WOLVES

As weekends go, they don't get much tougher than the one coming up for Oaklands Wolves' two senior basketball teams.

Both the men and the women will play the respective champions, the ladies traveling to Sevenoaks Suns on Saturday in the WBBL before the men host Solent Kestrels a day later in NBL Division One.

Sevenoaks were champions in both 2018 and 2019, winning 41 of their 42 games, and were on target to complete a hat-trick before last season was abandoned.

Wolves also play host to London Lions on Wednesday and head coach Lee Ryan knows the games will be a tough examination of his new-look squad.

He said: "We face an improved Lions side on Wednesday and then have to play the champions on Saturday.

"[London] have completely changed their fortunes from last season with a full roster change and have started undefeated as a result. We will need to take care of the ball and punish them inside when we get our chances.

"Sevenoaks have set the tone for the past four years in the WBBL. It will be a tough contest but one we will be up for."

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The men meanwhile return after a two-week break due to COVID-19 protocols against a side who have won 48 games in a row, a sequence stretching back almost two years.

Coach Thomas Baker said: “It is has been a tough couple of weeks for us as a team and we have our toughest test this weekend against the champions.

"But we must remain open to the challenges that this game will give us. Solent have been the team who have set the standard over recent seasons and it will be great for us to test ourselves against one of the best teams in the country."

The game will also see the return to Oaklands of international forward Orlan Jackman whose signing for Wolves' predecessors, Essex & Herts Leopards, 13 months ago helped the Big Cats stay in Division One.

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