Friday Evening the Riders travel down South to take on the Bristol Flyers for just the second time this season, here’s all you need to know ahead of the game.
About the Flyers
The Flyers released plans for their new 4,000 seat dedicated basketball arena two weeks ago, and when complete, it is certain to be one of the best venues in the BBL. They have made it to a Final for the first time this season in the BBL Cup against Worcester Wolves.
England coach Andreas Kapoulas pulls the strings, and values continuity, including durable forward Daniel Edozie, British guards Lewis Champion and Panos Mayindombe, forwards Marcus Delpeche and Chris Taylor, and guard Jordan Nicholls.
Rookie American guard Gentrey Thomas has sparkled so far this season, while new boys American Levi Bradley and Brit Raphell Thomas-Edwards provide power around the paint. A season ending injury to American forward Fred Thomas saw another American Eric Lockett step in, and he scored 18 points in the last game against Manchester.
The Flyers had an exceptional BBL Cup making it to the final where they lost to an in-form Worcester. They also made the semi-finals of the BBL Trophy, where they were upset by National League side Team Solent.
In the BBL Championship, they had lost three straight, before bouncing back with a convincing victory over bottom club Manchester Giants last time out. Riders six game winning streak came to a halt last Sunday at the Copper Box against the champions, London Lions.
The teams have played just once so far this season, Bristol knocking Leicester out of the BBL Trophy in the first round at home 95-82.
Players to Watch
Bristol depends heavily on guard Gentrey Thomas. A typical performance came against Manchester last time out, when he scored 19 points, including 4 three pointers, along with 7 rebounds, and he will be a focus for the Riders defence.
Rider’s powerful centre Darien Nelson-Henry was the sole bright spark in the loss to Lions last week, scoring 17 points at 63%, while adding 6 rebounds and 3 assists. His link play with Kyron Cartwright can unlock almost any defence.
The Riders return Home to the Morningside Arena next Friday when they take on the Manchester Giants in the BBL Championship, CLICK HERE to get your tickets!