The Leicester Riders are returning to Benecos BBL Playoff Final this Sunday at the O2 Arena to take on the in form London City Royal at 4pm LIVE on the BBC Sport Website and the BBL Youtube Page.
About the Royals
The Royals are in their first season in the BBL, playing at the ageing but iconic, Crystal Palace sports centre.
They built their team around GB internationals Ashley Hamilton and Matthew Bryan-Amaning.
Bryan-Amaning is a 30 years old centre, and has played in 10 countries after a college career in the US. Hamilton is also 30 years old, and widely travelled globally after graduating from a US university.
The big two are supported by forward Orlan Jackman, forward Will Neighbour, Albanian point guard Elvisi Dusha, and forward A J Roberts. GB guard Jules Dang Akodo, British guard Samuel Toluwase, Angolan shooting guard Ed Lucas, as well as American point guard Wes Washpun given the Royals a deep bench.
The Royals won the BBL Trophy at the first time of asking, when they outlasted the London Lions 90-82 after overtime, at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow in March.
Head to Head
The Riders and Royals have met 3 times so far this season with the Riders taking the head to head 2-1 although every matchup has been decided by 10 points or less.
The first meeting of the season between the two teams was the Riders first BBL game of the season at the Morningside Arena on October 20th. The Riders won a tightly contested game 83-79 behind JR Holder’s 20 points, 7 Rebounds and 7
The Second meeting of the season came down in London at Crystal Palace, the Riders unfortunately let a 10 point lead slip in the fourth quarter as the Royals won the contest 77-74.
The final match up of the season came back at the Morningside Arena on April 5th. The Riders got the win 86-78 and secured the head to head on the season. The Riders had a very balanced attack on the night as JR Holder scored 16 points whilst Jamell Anderson and Tim Williams added 15 and 14 respectively.
The Royals overcame Glasgow Rocks in the quarter-finals of the playoffs, winning convincingly at home 75-60, before losing in Glasgow 72-65, for an 8 point aggregate win. In the semi-finals Royals won a squeaker in Sheffield 63-61 before trouncing the Sharks at home 91-69.
Riders are 4 and 0 in the playoffs, beating Cheshire Phoenix and Plymouth Raiders by aggregate scores of 11 and 14 in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively.
The teams have played 3 times this season. Riders won their opening fixture in the BBL Championship 83-79 over the Royals, and then came from behind to beat Riders 77-74 in late March, in a replay of a fixture cancelled due to water on the court. Riders came out on top 86-78 at the Morningside Arena in early April.
Players to Watch
Royals Matthew Bryan-Amaning leads the team in scoring with 17 points per game; and in rebounds at 6.5 per game; and Wes Washpun is leading in assists with 4.1 per game.
Riders Tim Williams is leading scorer and rebounder at 15.1 and 5.8 per game, respectively; while Conner Washington is averaging 4.1 assists per game.
If you would like to purchase tickets to support the Riders at the O2 Arena on Sunday call Kirsty on 011625586365 or email firstname.lastname@example.org