Those who made the trip to the JSSC on Saturday 17th September will not have left the gym disappointed having had their first glimpse on the home hardwood of the new look Riders team as they beat the USA Select A Team, 103-60.
For a team that is still feeling it’s way around each other, the squad showed great chemistry early on as they got out and ran the break to perfection thanks to natural leader and point man, Cameron Rundles.
Rundles lead his Leicester squad to a comfortable victory in the exhibition game and showed the committed Riders fans what they can look to expect for the season ahead: Composure with the ball in his hands and an innate ability to find the open man on offense.
“It’s difficult to be part of an entirely new team and trying to gel isn’t easy but, honestly, it’s been easy for me because the guys on the team and Coach Rob have great character and when you have those types of people in and around a team, it makes it easy to take charge and lead” said Rundles.
But to heap all the praise on one man is to do a disservice to the remainder of the Riders team, all of whom played their part in the pre-season win.
Despite an impressive offensive display from Riders regular, Tom Sherlock who attacked the rim hard throughout and from the twin towers of Lamble and Youngblood who limited easy looks in the lane for the opposition, it would be fair to say most of those in attendance were curious to see how the new signings looked.
“I thought the new guys did really well” enthused Paternostro “(Cameron)Rundles is a fantastic player. It’s easy to miss the subtle things in his game but over time, you’ll see what a great team-mate he is and how he galvanizes the team completely. Bradd (Wierzbicki) has really improved a lot on the defensive end since his first couple of years here and we’re going to be looking for more of that from him. As for Ayron (Hardy), he’s a guy that does so much. He can post up and shoot the ball from the outside as well as making good passes too.”
Not overlooking the fact it was an exhibition game, the Riders impressed in the win and showed flashes of what they can do. There were glimpses of a high octane offense as well as smothering defence which will truly be put to the test on Saturday 24th September as the Mersey Tigers come to town.