Following back-to-back wins in what was a demanding schedule last weekend, Leicester Riders return to the John Sandford Sports Centre on Saturday night, taking in John Lavery’s Cheshire Phoenix in the BBL Championship (7:30pm).
Following a BBL Cup quarter-final win over Worcester Wolves last Saturday night, the Riders journeyed to Durham to take on the Wildcats, where scoring performances from forward Rashad Hassan and guard Anthony Downing set the box score alight.
“I was proud of the guys last weekend,” said Riders Head Coach, Rob Paternostro.
“Nothing came easy for us and I guess it’s been like that for most of the season. It’s not like we go out and put teams away early on. We’ve won six games in the league and one cup game, and for the most part we have had to work. The guys continue to work no matter how things are going and I think that was evident in both games over the weekend.
“We want to play our style of basketball…” – Paternostro
“Both Rashad and Anthony, on Sunday, were able to get things going offensively,” he continued, focusing on the team’s rookie duo.
“In the third quarter, Anthony came out and made some plays and both guys have shown their ability to score. I think that all of the guys, in many positions, did well over the course of the weekend as well. When looking at our team, I don’t feel that there are one or two guys that you have to key on. Different nights will require different players to step up and take the reins. Last weekend, Anthony and Rashad did.”
Cheshire Phoenix arrive on the Riders’ home floor with a 2-5 record in the Championship so far this year. However, Phoenix will journey to the East Midlands boosted by the acquisitions of guard Devan Bailey and forwards Gerald Robinson and Victor Moses, who add a different dimension to the side beaten 78-43 by the Riders last month.
“They’re different to the last time we played them,” acknowledged Paternostro.
“Cheshire have brought in three different players to their line-up. When you watch them, you can clearly see the talent that they have in different areas all over the court. When they start to flow and get into a rhythm, they’re as talented a group as we’ll be playing against this season. At present, I’m sure they’re doing everything they can to get comfortable with each other.
“We’ll go about this game in the same way that we approach any team,” Rob added.
“We will look at individuals and how they play, but we want to play our style of basketball. That will mean that we play a lot of players and make everything difficult. We understand that teams will make shots against us, but I feel that we’re at our best when we’re making things difficult for opposing teams.”
Tickets for the Riders game against Cheshire Phoenix this weekend are on sale NOW by CLICKING HERE or calling 0116 255 8635.