The Leicester Riders are set to take on the Surrey Scorchers at home this Saturday night, as the team is looking to climb away from the chasing pack at the top of the standings. With the last fixture between these two sides producing a good game just before Christmas, it shapes up to be no different this time around at the Leicester Arena.
Both teams enter the game in good form, as they have both won four out of their last five. The Riders are looking to make the most of home advantage, as they did last time out getting back to winning ways in a comfortable win over the Bristol Flyers. Whereas the Scorchers enter the game knowing their last away game resulted in a loss to the Sheffield Sharks on their road trip.
Riders player Tyler Bernardini believes that getting back to winning ways quickly was a good perspective of the team’s mental ability this season: “It was important for us to get back to winning ways.”
“We had a tough game with Surrey before Christmas, so I think it’s important to get the head to head vs this team that’s playing really well right now and they are on a roll.”
The Surrey Scorchers are one of the leagues elite when it comes to rebounding and Bernardini acknowledges the difficulties that they can cause: “That’s something we have focused on all week and a lot this year in terms of rebounding and making sure we secure them especially on the defensive end.”
Riders sitting atop the standings at the halfway mark of the season, they continue to be gunning for their third straight BBL Championship, if they manage to stay atop the standings come the end of April.
Bernardini had this to say on the benefits of league position come the end of the season: “It’s massive, as first of all first position means you win the league and that’s very important to us, as it’s a trophy we won the last two years and if possible we would like to win it again.
“If you finish 1st you are supposedly meant to have the easiest road to the final. So we want to make sure we do everything we can, to put ourselves in the best position to be successful and that’s our focus.”
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For the Riders, they are set to play the Worcester Wolves on their travels on the 2nd of February. Before returning home to play the Manchester Giants a day later on Saturday the 3rd on January at 7.30pm
Credit: Andy Rivzi