Basketball: Leicester Riders blast back in style to stay on course for title
Revenge was the last word on coach Rob Paternostro's lips after Leicester Riders trounced Sheffield Sharks 85-63 on Wednesday.
It came just four days after their heartbreaking defeat to the same side in the BBL Trophy final.
"There was no element of revenge with us, we didn't even discuss it," said Paternostro.
"We lost the final on Saturday and felt a little hard done by with the way the game ended, but we recognised a few things we needed to improve.
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"The few days of practice we had weren't about revenge or getting people up for the game.
"It was about getting ourselves in a better rhythm at the offensive end. I was really impressed with how the guys took what we did in practice out on to court."
The Jelson Homes DMU-sponsored Riders were certainly in an excellent rhythm as they scored the opening six points of the contest and quickly moved into a 13-4 lead.
Leicester never trailed in the game and an 11-2 finish to the first half saw them ahead by 20 points at the interval.
They made 19 of their 30 first-half shot attempts, but Paternostro was more pleased by his team's ball movement than their shooting.
"The way we played, irrespective of shots going in or not, was a positive for the rest of the season," he said.
"The last few weeks we've maybe struggled to get a rhythm going but, on Wednesday, we were very happy with the offensive end."
Their excellent offensive display came despite being without their leading scorer, Pavol Losonsky, who was rested due to a back injury.
"We missed Pavol, he was hurt going into the final as well, but give him credit he went out there and gave it a great effort," said Paternostro.
"We're hoping to get him back sooner rather than later. I thought Jamell Anderson stepped up, I think he played 35 minutes and had 14 points and eight rebounds."
Riders were completely dominant and an 11-2 start to the second half ensured their lead never dipped below 20 points in the third and fourth quarters.
So it's one down, three to go in this huge spell of four games in eight days which could see Riders take a massive step towards their first-ever league title. The schedule is gruelling, but Leicester are ready for it.