Glasgow Rocks welcome Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders to Kelvin Hall on Sunday in the third Playoff Quarter Final, in what promises to be a fascinating game, if previous match ups this season have been anything to go by.
The Riders were without influential shooting guard, Bradd Wierzbicki (pictured) in the first meeting between the two teams, as the Rocks made light work of the league’s oldest club, with a 66-87 win.
However, Rob Paternostro’s side gained revenge in the second fixture between the clubs, as the Rocks visited Leicester for the second time this campaign, with an 88-80 win over Sterling Davis’ men, who were taking their turn at competing without a leading player, with Rob Yanders on the sidelines.
The most recent meeting saw a similar winning margin, albeit for the Rocks this time, as they triumphed 101-92 at Kelvin Hall. It was the Rocks’ Atlantic trio that dominated this game, as Rob Yanders (23 points), Mike Copeland (20 points) and Jessie Sapp (18 points) all did damage. For the Riders however, Wierzbicki had a productive night with 26 points.
Speaking ahead of the biggest game of the season for his team, Davis was keen to point out that American pair, Lataryl Williams and Duane James, are also players that his team need to wary of on Sunday: ‘The Riders are a versatile team, and somewhat of a deep team’ he said: ‘Last time we played against them, the game definitely had a Playoff atmosphere as both teams were trying to get things sorted with positions in the league. They have good players on the inside with Jason Johnson and Shaun Durant, but Lataryl Williams and Duane James give them great versatility as they are able to play inside and out, which causes match up problems.’ The American added: ‘ This will be a tough game, as it is their athleticism which makes them able to match up with different guys, but it was only two weeks ago that we played against them last, so it will be fun to match up again so soon after.’
Riders boss, Rob Paternostro, echoed the thoughts of his Glasgow counterpart, in saying that the Rocks are still very much fresh in his players’ minds after the recent game: ‘ The Rocks have proven this year that they are a very good team’ he explained: ‘We feel good about it (the game) – they are fresh in our minds from the last game and we match up pretty well with them. However we realise that if we want to move on and advance in the Playoffs, then we need to play one of our better games.’ He continued: ‘Controlling (Rob) Yanders and (Jessie) Sapp and not allowing them to give the other players good looks is key for us. We need to control their penetration, understand what our strengths are against this club and take advantage of them.’