The Leicester Riders will host and compete in an inaugural Rider’s European Pre-season Tournament on September 19th-21st at Loughborough University.
19th September, 19.30hrs – Leicester Riders vs. Rio Natura Monbus – TICKETS
20th September, 17.00hrs – Okapi Aalstar vs. Rio Natura Monbus – TICKETS
21st September, 17.00hrs – Leicester Riders vs. Okapi Aalstar – TICKETS
Weekend Tickets are available HERE
All tickets on the door will be priced as the following;
Family 1: £27.50
Family 2 : £30
The tournament will be the first of its kind for the Leicester Riders, and the opponents will provide very challenging competition for the team, who are the BBL Cup holders for the last 2 seasons, in preparation for start of the BBL regular season the following week.
The Riders will open the tournament against Rio Natura Monbus of the Spanish ACB, the second most powerful basketball league in the world after the NBA, on Friday 19th September at 7.30pm.
In the second game of the tournament Rio Natura Monbus will face EuroChallenge side Okapi Aalstar of Basketball League Belgium on Saturday 20th September at 5pm.
The Riders will then be back in action on Sunday 21st September at 5pm to taking on Okapi Aalstar in the final game of the tournament.
Head Coach Rob Paternostro said,
“We are absolutely delighted to bring top European basketball to Leicestershire.”
“We know these are two very good clubs with a lot of pedigree and they will pose a big challenge to our team.”
“I think it is a measure of how the Riders are now being viewed that we can attract top European teams here. I believe it will be an excellent preparation for our guys and of course also for our fans to see top quality teams.”
Rio Natura Monbus are based in Santiago. They will travel from northern Spain to face the Riders, having finished 12th in the table in one of the most competitive leagues in the world., including picking up wins against powerhouse FC Barcelona.
Rio Natura Monbus General Manager, Jose Luis Mateo commented on the team’s involvement in the tournament ahead of the upcoming ACB season
“For us to participate in a tournament of this level and out of Spain is very important, both in a sporting context and for the image of club and promotion of our sponsors. Leicester Riders is a up and coming organization, with a lot of passion and that is doing the things very well and with a clear vision.”
“I expect that Galician people who live in the United Kingdom to enjoy the presence of our team during the three days.”
Head Coach, Moncho Fernández of Rio Natura Monbus is also pleased to be involved in the upcoming tournament and relishes the chance to see how his team is shaping up for the season.
“I would like to give thanks to Leicester Riders organization for invite us to their preseason tournament. For us it will be a great opportunity to check our shape a couple of weeks before start the Endesa League.
“This kind of tournament are always a great chance to improve the tactical skills at the same time that we share experiences with others basketball styles and especially with others players and coaches.”
“For all this reasons I want to say thanks a lot to Leicester Riders team and staff. I am absolutely sure that they will have a great success with this event.”
Okapi Aalstar finished runners up on the Ethias League (renamed to Basketball League Belgium) last season and will compete in EuroChallenge, the second tier European Club competition, for the upcoming season, facing top teams from around Europe.
Before that the Leicester Riders will face a USA Select touring side on Saturday, September 13th (7:30pm) and Sunday 14th (4pm) at Loughborough University to open the Riders pre-season2014/15 calendar.
Riders will host the USA Select team as part of a weekend tournament to provide competitive preparation games ahead of the 2014/15 BBL regular season beginning on September 27th.
The fixtures offer fans the first opportunity to see new signings such as Derrick Roland and Neil Watson in action as well as returning players such as Conner Washington, Rashad Hassan, Anthony Rowe, Jamell Anderson, Barry Lamble, Harrison Gamble and Levi Noel.
Individual game and weekend tickets are on sale now via the Leicester Riders website, www.leicesterriders.co.uk or by calling the Leicester Riders ticket office on 0116 2558635.