This weekend sees basketball return to Loughborough University, as Leicester Riders start the defence of the BBL Cup against Surrey United in the opening round on Saturday 11th October (7:30pm tip-off).
One player keen to pick up where he left off on his home court is point guard Neil Watson, who completed his home debut with 24 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds – one of two performances over the course of the weekend that led to the 23-year-old guard being named in the BBL Team of the Week.
“I was satisfied with the way I played over the course of the weekend,” Watson modestly revealed. “However, I’m hoping to do more for the team going forward.”
In the first of another double-header this weekend, Riders know that nothing other than a win against Surrey is good enough, with defeat resulting in an early exit from the BBL Cup. The following night, Riders make the long journey down to Plymouth to take on the Raiders.
“The game is more exciting knowing that you HAVE to win,” admitted Watson. “It gives us an added reason to go out there and get the W.
“This week, we have been working on defence,” Riders’ number five revealed. “We know we need to be able to guard and rebound for long periods of time in this league.”
On the practice floor, Watson revealed that he is enjoying working under Rob Paternostro – a former guard in the BBL himself.
“It helps have a coach so down to earth,” said Watson. “He’s really passionate about the game; as much as I am.
“We see a lot of the same things and I feel comfortable talking to him at all times, which is very important for a point guard.”
Last weekend gave Watson the chance to sample a home Riders crowd for the first time, with the University of Southern Mississippi alumni keen to see more people getting behind the team this weekend.
“I enjoyed it all,” he said, reflecting on last weekend’s game against Manchester. “Hopefully, there will be a few more fans in the building for this weekend’s game, as the fans can make a huge difference. I really enjoyed meeting so many fans after the Manchester game.”
Tickets for this weekend’s game against Surrey United are on sale NOW by CLICKING HERE or calling 0116 255 8635.
Photo courtesy of Matt Withers Photography