Riders are league champions, again!

The Leicester Riders are the BBL League Champions again and clinched in style with a 30 point win over the Plymouth Raiders.

The match was a close affair with the Raiders holding their own for 2 and a half quarters before the Riders exploded for 14 unanswered points in the third quarter. The Riders ran away with the game from that point and for the final 5 minutes it was party central in Leicester as the players on the court relaxed and enjoyed their game whilst the players on the bench and the fans in the stands celebrated the sure fire victory and the league championship.

On the final buzzer the home players rushed the court to celebrate a dominant league victory, as ticker tape rained down of the jubilant Riders. This is a true team victory for the Riders. No team uses their bench like the Riders do, with Coach Rob Paternostro calling on his bench early in ball games and rotating his players frequently throughout the game. This enables the Riders to play with an energy unmatched by any team in the league, but also prevents much in the way of individuals scoring vast amounts of points. Rather, the Riders’ players share the offensive and defensive burdens, with players rarely scoring more than 18 points per night. The Riders do not score the most points but concede the fewest and their bench contributes the most. The Riders are a hustle team. They create opportunities to head the foul line, block shots and win the most rebounds of any team in the league. They generate a good portion of their points through three point field goals, another category they lead in, and most of their players have 3 point range. The 2016-17 Leicester Riders are a unique team in which they are a collection of excellent basketball players, without one standout star. They have the excellent GB veteran Drew Sullivan, the talented Duke alumni Taylor King, who recorded his 1000th points in the win, the versatile Pierre Hampton, the electric Connor Washington and club captain Tyler Bernardini. They are lead by a coach driven to excel in defence first basketball, in which every player must give 100% on every play. The Riders demonstrate their commitment to winning through defence by only having lost 4 games all season.


The Leicester Riders are the league champions and are in very good shape to make a serious run to the Playoff final in the o2 in May. They will not fear anybody they face in the path to the Final and will be making that clear in their final few games of the regular season.

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