The Leicester Riders take on their fierce rivals the Newcastle Eagles this Friday in what is sure to be an epic battle between 2 of the BBL’s most successful franchises in recent years. The Riders currently have a record of 16-4 which has them in 2ndplace in the BBL Championship and will be looking to build on their impressive form of late.
About the Eagles
The Eagles are the most successful Club in BBL history, having won 25 trophies, including 7 Championships, and are six times winners of the BBL Cup, Trophy and Playoffs.
They finally moved into their new purpose-built sports arena in early January, after a decade based at Northumbria University.
They rely on continuity on and off the court under owner Paul Blake, epitomised by 45-year-old player/ coach Fab Flournoy MBE. Flournoy continues to defy the aging process, and their BBL experience is exemplified by veteran English centre Darius Defoe, and naturalised guard Andrew Lasker, along with the Canadian brothers Jamal and Kai Williams.
The firepower comes from point guard and two-time league MVP Rahmon Fletcher, and the ex-Cheshire forward, Victor Moses. The new boys are athletic guard/ forwards, Jeremy Smith and Kyle Williams, and the squad is rounded out by former academy player Eddie Matthew, and young Themba Yabantu.
The Eagles have run into form in the last two months, after an indifferent period when they were hit by injuries. They have won six of their last seven, the only blemish in that period an away defeat at Manchester. They made light work of the Glasgow Rocks last weekend, winning 83 to 66, their second home win over Glasgow in a month.
Riders have now won six in a row, and have suffered just one defeat in 2019, away at the Rocks. They have played Newcastle twice this season in the Championship, Riders winning away 84 to 68 in November, and Eagles having their revenge in Leicester, over Christmas, winning 76 to 69. The Eagles also knocked Riders out of the BBL Cup, winning 90-84 in mid November in Leicester.
Players to Watch
The Eagles recent dip in form has coincided with an injury to former BBL MVP Victor Moses, but he was back leading the way last game against the Rocks, scoring 25 points, pulling down 10 rebounds, while shooting 64%, in 31 minutes of play.
Moses will match up with Riders newest signing forward Tim Williams who scored 21 points, and grabbed 8 rebounds, in 29 minutes of play, while shooting 58%, in the win at Worcester Wolves last time out.
The Riders return to the court on March 15th as the Newcastle Eagles come to the Morningside Arena, Leicester! CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets for the night and remember to #GoGreen to support the team!