Basketball: Leicester Riders reveals BBL Cup semi dates
Leicester Riders have no fears going into their BBL Cup semi-final against Sheffield Sharks.
The Jelson Homes DMU-sponsored Riders will play the first leg in Sheffield on Friday, November 30, at the English Institute of Sport (7.30), while the return leg will be on Saturday, December 8, at the John Sandford Centre, with a 7.30pm tip-off.
Riders head coach Rob Paternostro said: "We are really looking forward to the Cup semi-final games, and Sheffield will prove very difficult opposition.
"They tend to do well in this competition, having won it as recently as two seasons ago, and we respect that.
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"They have guys who have won things, and that can make a difference.
"The Sharks have had a difficult start to the Championship, but their win over a very good and experienced Glasgow Rocks team, in their Cup quarter-final at the weekend, recovering from a big deficit in the fourth quarter, suggests that they may have turned a corner.
"But we have also had a decent recent record against Sheffield recently, including a win there at the start of the season, so we should not fear anyone.
"The main thing is to focus on our defence, and let the scoring take care of itself. That has helped us get to where we are at."
One aspect of the Cup semi-finals that Paternostro is not a fan of is the two-legged nature of the tie.
"These games become effectively 80-minute games, with a week-long half-time," he said.
"Quite frankly, the new guys will not have experienced that before – because it does not happen anywhere else. But we managed to figure out how to deal with it in the play-offs last season, so I am sure we can adjust again.
"It makes for some strange situations, particularly in the first legs, so I am glad we have the second leg at our home venue."
The winner will be decided on aggregate scores from the two games, and will progress to the BBL Cup final at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, on Sunday, January 13.
Riders' home game against Manchester Giants in the BBL Championship, originally scheduled for December 8, has been rearranged for Saturday February 16.