Basketball: Leicester Riders are relishing task of reaching another major final
Leicester Riders go in search of a second major final of the season when they take on Worcester Wolves in the BBL Trophy semi-final.
Riders head to Worcester tonight (7.30) for the first leg before playing the return match at John Sandford Sports Centre tomorrow night (7.30).
After recovering from last weekend's taxing victory at Glasgow, Riders' mood has heightened during recent days as they prepare for two big encounters in 24-hours.
"We're excited about it," said coach Rob Paternostro. "Any time you get to a semi-final you are excited about the possibilities.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"We understand that Worcester are playing good basketball right now and that's what you expect in these types of games. It's two teams who are playing well and they get an opportunity to compete over 80 minutes."
Leicester-born coach Paul James guided his Worcester team to an unbeaten February and claimed the coach of the month award in the process.
However, Jelson Homes DMU-backed Riders go into the clash on the back of 11 consecutive victories, equalling a club record set when James was playing for Leicester more than 30 years ago.
"They have a good balance on their team, they've got a good presence inside and some quality players on the outside," said Paternostro, right.
"We always felt they were one of the better teams in the league and, as you've seen during the last month or so, they've really hit their stride.
"For them, the three-point shot is important. If you look at games where they have played well, they've shot the three-pointer very well.
"We know they are going to take them, so it is going to be important for us to make sure that we make all their three-point shots as difficult as we can."
Riders have recent experience of a two-legged semi-final, having beaten Sheffield to reach the BBL Cup final earlier this season.
On that occasion, though, there was a week between the two games and Paternostro admits the back-to-back nature does change the dynamic of the tie.
He said: "You don't have an opportunity to go over the video with the team and prepare like we did last time, because it's a quick turnaround.
"You can prepare as much as you want for these games, but it's about what the players do when the lights go on.
"Anyone who has been to the John Sandford during the last few years in one of these big games knows the atmosphere that our fans create.
"I know everybody is looking forward to that and, whether we are up, down or level after the first leg, it should be another great night of basketball in Leicester on Saturday."
Wolves: Dover, Prezzie-Blue, Van-Beest, Williams, Owumi, Ziwa, Fernandez, Turner, Belgrave, Morant-Hudson, Kazlauskas, Irving, Ocitti, Noyer, Masiulis.
Riders: Okoro, Couisnard, Stewart, Sullivan, Calvo, Hopkins, Taylor, Anderson, Washington, Lamble, Haggith, Gould, Dawes, Maynard, Losonsky, Rowe.