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Brixton Topcats are exciting top-flight opposition for Bradford Dragons
Bradford Dragons launch their VCARS.CO.UK Division One campaign tomorrow against Brixton Topcats at Bradford College.
Dragons have had a very successful start to the season by topping their National Trophy pool and qualifying for the quarter-finals but that will be put to the back of their minds as they start their challenge for league glory.
Topcats are one of the most iconic names in British basketball, having helped to develop NBA superstar Luol Deng.
This said, Brixton have had a tough start to the campaign and finished bottom of their National Trophy pool without a win.
This doesn't mean that Dragons will be underestimate their opponents as head coach Chris Mellor remembers a previous encounter: "We were comprehensively outplayed by Brixton two years ago in the quarter-finals of the National Cup when they went on to lift the trophy but I learnt a lot in that game and we were successful last season in both league encounters."
Brixton are known for their athleticism and high-energy style of play. Dragons forward Dennis Scott is aware of the threat that they pose, saying: "They are very physical, fast and tough. The key will be for us to out rebound them and if we play smart we will win the game."
Dragons will be looking to improve on their sixth-place finish from their inaugural season in the top tier of English basketball last year.
A good start to their season will be vital for this, and Mellor said: "The main event starts tomorrow and every team has a clean slate."
Bradford guard Dut Malek is keen to get the season off on the right foot, adding: "It is always good to start well by continuing our good run of form from the Trophy games."
The game tips off at 6:15 at Bradford College Sport Hall on Trinity Road, BD5 0JE. It is set to be an exciting night of top-flight basketball action with a raucous, capacity crowd expected to cheer the Dragons on.
Elsewhere for Bradford tomorrow, Dragons II will face derby rivals Bradford Maroons in VCARS.CO.UK Division Four at Bradford College (4.15), while Dragons' women will play their first NnationalLleague game as they travel to Mansfield Giants.
The under-18 men are also on their travels, heading north to play Tees Valley Mohawks, while the under-14 boys welcome Durham Wildcats to Buttershaw Business & Enterprise College (10.30am).
The under-16 boys have to wait until Sunday to face Newcastle Eagles at Tyne Met College.