Leicester Riders face their biggest challenge for many years in their inaugural European Pre-season Tournament starting tomorrow night at Loughborough University.
With just one week to go to the start of the BBL season, Riders go up against Spanish and Belgian opposition in a three-day club competition.
Riders will open the tournament tomorrow against Obradoiro CAB, of the top Spanish league, the ACB, at 7.30pm.
In the second game of the tournament, Obradoiro will face Euro Challenge side Okapi Aalstar, of Basketball League Belgium, on Saturday at 5pm.
Riders will then be back in action on Sunday at 5pm to take on Okapi Aalstar in the final game of the tournament.
Rider’s head coach Rob Paternostro is relishing the challenge.
“The Riders fans are going to see something different this weekend, last weekend we dominated against an athletic but young USA touring side, but these games are going to be a whole different kettle of fish. Jorge Calvo knows the Spanish team pretty well and has sent me a scouting report, which has been handy.
They will be as talented and well-organised as anyone we are going to see this season.
They play full-court pressure defence and have a good mix of Spanish and American players.
They can shoot the ball extremely well and have one guy we need to keep a close eye on – Alberto Corbocho. He is very experienced, and led the ACB in three-point shooting last season, a heck of a feat.
And they are going to have size, like we don’t normally see. They will push us very hard, and I think after this weekend we will have a very good idea of where we are at, and what we need to do to be a better team.
Training has gone well this week, and we are really benefiting from having all the guys together – getting to know each other, getting up to speed on what we are trying to do and building some camaraderie. We have had players with a few niggles but our focus has been less about preparing for this weekend and more about getting ready for the new season.”
Tickets for this weekend are still available by clicking HERE