Geno signs back!

League MVP and star American guard Geno Crandall will return to the Riders next season!

Crandall lit up the BBL this season winning the league, journalist’s association and club’s MVP awards.

“I’m excited to be coming back to the Riders next season,” commented Crandall.

“I have loved my time here and I can’t wait to play for the Riders again, this time with fan support at the arenas. I found a home in Leicester, the club, teammates and staff made me feel so welcome.”

“I’ll be working hard this summer to improve my game and be ready again for the new season.”

“We feel like we have unfinished business as a team and we’ll be doing all we can to put some more silverware in the cabinet for this club.”

“I’ve loved playing for Coach Rob and he’s a big factor in me returning to play. He’s a players’ coach and has given me the tools to be successful this past season. I can’t wait to get going again.”

After leading Leicester Riders to a fifth BBL Championship title, Geno became the second player in Riders history to win the MVP. He did it by 10 clear votes of second placed DeAndre Liggins.

The 6’4″, 24-year-old , Minneapolis-native joined Leicester in the summer after a season in the Czech Republic, and was previously a two-time All-Big Sky second team selection at the University of North Dakota before graduating from the powerhouse Gonzaga University.

Crandall had nine double-doubles in BBL Championship play, which was third among all players, and was close to a triple-double on numerous occasions. He had a season high of 29 points and 15 assists in a 116-109 overtime victory over Manchester Giants at the Morningside Arena.

Alongside the MVP trophy, he was named in the Molten BBL Team of the Year, picked up a Molten BBL Player of the Month award in January, and made the weekly All-Star Five six times.

Paternostro signs new multi-year deal

Leicester Riders are excited to announce a new multi-year contract with Head Coach Rob Paternostro has been agreed.

“I’m thrilled to extend my deal with the Riders. I have enjoyed everything about being the Head Coach here and am looking forward to the future,” commented Rob Paternostro.

“It’s home for my family and I. I love it here and we are all excited about the future.

“Leicester is a great city for sport, I love that about being here, the fans are knowledgeable and passionate which makes it an incredible place to work.”

Paternostro led the Riders to the League Title, his fifth while at Leicester, and 14th trophy overall for the club. He also picked up the Coach of the Year award, his fourth in the last five years.

“Rob has been a fantastic Head Coach for this club for many years. He is our most successful Head Coach and understands where we want to take this club,” commented Riders Managing Director Russell Levenston.

“It’s a big statement for the club to be able to secure his services for the next five years. We are extremely excited about working together and happy to offer him the security at our club that his record truly deserves.”

Rob took the helm at the Riders in 2008 and won his first league title in 2012-13. He won his first Coach of the Year award after transforming Riders in that initial 2008-09 season, immediately taking them from tenth to third, and they have only finished below that on three occasions in more than a decade since.

The 48-year-old native of Connecticut – who enjoyed a good playing career in the BBL as a charismatic point guard from 2000 to 2008 – has built his success on a defensive philosophy, and will have been pleased to see his team once more end the season as the BBL’s meanest defence, for the fifth completed season in a row, conceding just 76.8 points per game.

Riders Awards 2021

Last night Leicester Riders announced it’s award winners for the 2020-21 campaign. A huge thank you to our sponsors and partners Our Neighbourhood, Everards and Spice Bazaar along-with our individual award sponsors.

Coach of the Year – sponsored by the Trophy Parlour
Rob Paternostro

Most Improved Player of the Year – sponsored by the Loughborough University School of Business & Economics
Darien Nelson-Henry

Players’ Player of the Year – sponsored by Jelson Homes
William Lee

Coaches Player of the Year – sponsored by the Spire Hospital & Torr Waterfield
Conner Washington & Jamell Anderson

MVP – sponsored by Lumbers
Geno Crandall

Two Victories Over Manchester

Both the Charnwood teams defeat Manchester basketball academy over the weekend. 

Charnwood WEABL took home a 54-77 road win against the Mystics in the WEABL Summer Showcase.  Despite a close first half between both teams, the Riders changed the course of the game with a 35-point third quarter as well as holding the host team to two points.  In the fourth, Mystics gained momentum in the quarter with 21 points; however, they were unable to overcome the deficit. Charnwood was led by Sobiah Harry (17 points) and Kate Davies (14 points), whilst Mystics’ Charlie Wroe had 14 points in the game. 

The Charnwood EABL team got a 80-64 victory at Loughborough University against Manchester Magic. Both teams started off slow, but the Riders stepped up their intensity in the second quarter, with the help from Greg Wild and Victor Ndoukou.  The Riders defensive pressure limited Magic to 32% field goals and caused 28 turnovers. Greg Wild’s led the team with 30 points and  was assisted by Ndoukou’s double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds. Whereas, Boakye-Yiadon had 19 points for the host team. 

Next up, Charnwood EABL looks to continue their winning streak as they travel to Myerscough College on Saturday 22nd May at 5pm.

Captains Log: An amazing season with an amazing team

Well, it was not the final outcome we desired, that much is obvious. However, it is hard to be bitter after such an amazing season with an amazing team. Of course, the sour taste will remain in our mouths for some time. That much is inevitable. Yet, it is somewhat comforting to see Newcastle carry on to win the Finals as well. They are a team of veterans that had all of their guys healthy at the right time. That’s sports. Experience and health ultimately wins championships. 

This experience part is what we hope to carry on into next season. We showed consistency throughout the regular season and walked away with a BBL Championship… something I will never forget, and something I commend the guys for wholeheartedly, as I truly believe that was the hardest title to win in this crazy season of ours. That said, winning a second piece of hardware this year would have made it just that much sweeter… and that is what we will focus on for the season to come. I know we can be consistent, I know we can be disciplined, and now we need to be able to turn it up a notch in the big moments. 

Alas, the season is wrapped up, and there is nothing to do now besides relax for a few weeks, then get back on the grind! Off-season training is some of my favourite, as I get to channel my inner Geno (doing ball handling drills and playing point guard in pick-up). Despite the great season, my focus will not waver — more titles to come next year — that is the goal. That is what I will be training for this off-season. 

To all of the fans that have supported us all season long, Thank you!!! You all helped immensely with your continuous support. I look forward to seeing you all this Wednesday at Morningside!

All the best,

Your Captain, Darien Nelson-Henry

Coach Rob: Proud of what we achieved this season

It was a tough night for us against the Eagles in that second leg – no question. But you have to give credit to Newcastle, they played really well in the second leg, and did it also in the first game. To get back like they did in the first leg after our hot start was impressive.

Rahmon Fletcher was outstanding in both games – scoring the ball, passing the ball – he is a real dynamic player. And his backcourt partner Cortez Edwards played really well after a bit of an off-night in the first leg. Add with their big guy Justin Gordon, who can change a game quickly, you have three guys who are amongst the top ten in the BBL, or close. So, the talent is there, and they showed up on Thursday night. They made plays.

You look at our game and our defence was not good enough early on, and gave up too many scores. But then if you look at how we came back, we went into halftime in a real good position. But then in the third quarter we could not get anything to drop. And when you look back at the losses this season, we have had it is generally that it was the long-range shooting that let us down.

We only made 3 of 24 from the three-point line on Thursday. I said before the game we had to make shots. We did not and they did. When you are in big games that is what it comes down to – making shots when it matters. It is part of basketball.

It was a tough night for us against the Eagles in that second leg – no question. But you have to give credit to Newcastle, they played really well in the second leg, and did it also in the first game. To get back like they did in the first leg after our hot start was impressive.

Rahmon Fletcher was outstanding in both games – scoring the ball, passing the ball – he is a real dynamic player. And his backcourt partner Cortez Edwards played really well after a bit of an off-night in the first leg. Add with their big guy Justin Gordon, who can change a game quickly, you have three guys who are amongst the top ten in the BBL, or close. So, the talent is there, and they showed up on Thursday night. They made plays.

You look at our game and our defence was not good enough early on, and gave up too many scores. But then if you look at how we came back, we went into halftime in a real good position. But then in the third quarter we could not get anything to drop. And when you look back at the losses this season, we have had it is generally that it was the long-range shooting that let us down.

We only made 3 of 24 from the three-point line on Thursday. I said before the game we had to make shots. We did not and they did. When you are in big games that is what it comes down to – making shots when it matters. It is part of basketball.

I said to guys after the game I loved working with them, and I really enjoyed every minute, because it was a real family atmosphere. I also told them how proud of them I was, and proud of what they achieved this season, for our club and for our fans. The fans may not have been in the building, but we felt their support all the way.


The Riders faced the Reading Rockets in the Play-off quarter finals on Saturday, 15th May. They were looking to bounce back after their loss against the Rockets in April. Riders were able to overcome a tough match and go through into the semi-finals. 

A very close first quarter with a strong defence from both teams, led to a tied score going into the second quarter. The second quarter followed a similar momentum with both teams going back and forth. The Riders came out to be slightly stronger of the two teams by taking the lead by 2 points at 32-30. By the end of the third quarter, the Rockets were able to take the biggest lead of the game so far. Their strong defence, led the Riders to score only 6 points in the entire quarter, giving them the lead going into the final quarter at 45-38. An early start from the Riders saw them cover up the gap within the first 2 minutes of the final quarter. An impressive offence by the Riders of 24 points in the final quarter, gave them the win at 62-53 and put them through to the semi-finals of the play-offs. 

The Riders were led by Katie Januszewska’s and Makana Stone’s strong performance of 19 points each and Robyn Ainge’s 6 assists. The Rockets were led by Gaila Comesana with 19 points and Candela Nunez and Sitota Espinosa’s 6 assists. 


Riders: K. Januszewska 19, M. Stone 19, M. James 10, R. Ainge 6, S. Lecuyer 6, H. Bird 2 

Rockets: G. Comesana 19, S. Espinosa 7, C. Nunez 6, S. Francisco 6, M. Thompson 6, N. Martin 5, E. Luzon 4

We will now see the Riders next in the semi-finals

Geno crowned BBL MVP!

American guard Geno Crandall has been named the Molten BBL Most Valuable Player for the 2020-21 season.

Crandall who has had a massive impact on the league in his debut season with the Riders led the side to its fifth League Title.

“I’m honoured to have been chosen as the MVP of the league. I want to thank Coach Rob (Paternostro) and the Riders staff for the opportunity they’ve given me this year,” commented Geno.

“Thank you to my teammates for believing in me, supporting me, picking me up every step of the way. Thank you to everyone behind the scenes with the league for doing everything they could to ensure we were able to play this season safely. Also thank you to all of the coaches who voted me into this position.”

“I don’t play the game for personal recognition, I play because I love it and the fact that that passion leads to individual success I hope inspires others to chase their own passions with the same fervour.”

“Our season didn’t end on a high note and I would have much preferred to win the final, however you never know what the future holds.”

Rob wins BBL Coach of the Year

Coach Rob Paternostro has been named the Ed Percival Molten BBL Coach of the Year for the 2020-21 season.

The Riders head coach successfully steered the team to a fifth League Title with a 24-6 record in the league. It’s also a league record sixth time that Coach Rob has picked up the trophy.

“It’s a team award and I really enjoyed working with our team, it was a great group to be around, they played unselfish basketball and competed on both ends of the floor night in and night out, but best of all were great teammates,” commented Rob.
“We have a great staff, so many contributed to our success this season.” 

“The league title is always special, you need to work together and support one another consistently throughout the season.”

Paternostro previously won the award in 2008–09, 2012–13, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.

Riders knocked out of Playoffs by Eagles

The Riders’ league-winning season draws to a close, after a 164-146 aggregate loss to the Newcastle Eagles in the BBL playoff semi-finals. Led by 13 points and 11 rebounds from Darien Nelson-Henry, the Riders fell short of a fourth-quarter comeback after entering the final period down 14. MVP candidate Rahmon Fletcher dominated the tie for the Eagles, averaging 30.5 points and eight assists across the two legs. 

The Riders fought until late, bringing the game to within six points after finding themselves down 15 in the final quarter. Their Molton Sports BBL Team of the Year players, Nelson-Henry and Geno Crandall, put the team on their back to score eight straight points and bring themselves into contention. Turnovers proved costly for the Riders, as they gave the ball up 16 times in both games. Uncharacteristically, the BBL’s most efficient offence struggled to make shots consistently in the second leg, shooting 41% from the field and going 3-24 from three. 

With the experience of a close tie against the Sheffield Sharks in the previous round, the Eagles seized momentum late. With the game in the balance, a 19-7 run closed out the fourth quarter for Newcastle, kick-started by huge threes from Fletcher and Louis Sayers. 

Fletcher picked up where he left off after a 34 point performance in the first leg, as the Eagles flew out to a 14 point lead. The two-time BBL MVP filled up the box score with seven points, two assists and three steals in the first quarter. With Fletcher running the show, the Eagles’ offence caught fire with red hot shooting in the first, which ended 29-20 in their favour. 

The responsibility fell to the Riders’ captain, Nelson-Henry, to commence a comeback. His sequence against Darius Defoe midway through the second quarter switched Leicester’s offensive focus to the interior, where they had success in the first leg. After blocking Defoe at the rim, Nelson-Henry ran back up the floor and backed up the 16-year Eagles veteran, before spinning left and hitting a hook shot for two.

The Riders pulled down four offensive rebounds on the next two possessions, dominating the battle inside. Leicester’s big-men scored all of their team’s seven points to end the half as they took the lead in the game with 1:37 left in the second. Fletcher’s steal and layup tied the game on aggregate as the teams entered the locker room with the Eagles up 40-39. 

Mustapha Heron kicked off the second half explosively, beating Defoe to the baseline before rising quickly and throwing it down left-handed. Despite the monster jam, the Riders fell into a hole, with the Eagles starting the third quarter on a 9-2 run. Again, it was Nelson-Henry reclaiming momentum for his side. After laying in a putback off a missed three, Nelson-Henry came up with a chase-down block on a driving Fletcher before deflecting the ball twice on the next possession to force an Eagles turnover. 

The Eagles responded to Nelson-Henry’s effort and energy with a 13-2 run to retake their double-digit lead. Fletcher scored 10 on the run to give Newcastle a commanding 14 points lead entering the final quarter. 

The Eagles built on their advantage to start the fourth with a huge and-one play from Justin Gordon. Down 15 on aggregate with their season on the line, Crandall and Nelson-Henry flipped a switch to claw the Riders back into the game. They scored eight points straight to cut the lead to seven, as the tie balanced on a knife-edge. With the score 69-61, the game’s momentum was ready to be seized, and it was Newcastle who took it. Back to back threes from Fletcher and Sayers gave the Eagles a 13 point lead with five minutes to go, kick-starting a 17-3 run which put the game to bed. 

The loss marks the end of a memorable Riders’ season. The Eagles progress to the final, where they will meet the London Lions or Plymouth Raiders at the Morningside Arena on Sunday. 


Nelson-Henry 13, Johnson 12, Lee 12, Crandall 11, Walker 8, Washington 5, Heron 5, Anderson 3


27, Edwards 22, Gordon 16, Maxwell 11, Sayers 8, Defoe 2, Matthew 2

Playoff Semi Final Preview: Riders v Eagles Second Leg

The Riders take on the Eagles in the second leg of the BBL playoff semi-final. Tipping off at 5:00pm Thursday, a transformed ‘May Madness’ Morningside Arena will host a clash deciding which side progresses to the BBL final.   

Season So Far – Riders

The Riders have thrived this year with a hounding athletic defence. Ranked number one in the BBL, the Riders limit opposing teams to a league low 2,303 points allowed over the course of the league season. Sporting players of elite athleticism and length, Leicester are a match-up killer, able to switch and rotate without giving anything away. They enter the second leg riding a five-game win streak but after a tight one-point game in the first leg, the Riders know they have to be on their game to reach the all important final. 

Season So Far – Eagles

The BBL’s 4th seed and most historic franchise look to add another finals appearance to their impressive resume. They got off to a good start against the League champions on Tuesday, falling short but only by a point forcing an intense second leg. Despite losing, the Eagles played the Riders closer than any team in Leicester’s hot streak, a huge 24-9 fourth quarter clawing them back into the contest. Captain Rahmon Fletcher put the team on his back and showed out in the Leicester Arena, setting an example for Newcastle in the next, win-or-go-home match. 

Ones To Watch

William Lee was a monster walking the court Tuesday afternoon. Posting an intimidating double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds, five of which were on the offensive glass, Lee could not be stopped. The Leicester forward put his 6’9” frame to use on both sides of the court, also hounding on the defensive end, swatting two shots, and stripping the ball twice. Lee is not just an athletic freak who plays above the rim though, he is an athletic freak with touch and technique making him hard to pin down. He possesses a consistent mid-range game, often seen pulling up for two along the baseline. The Eagles were hurt by Lee in the first leg, so will know they must limit him in the second if they want to taste BBL finals basketball. 

Eagles centre Evan Maxwell was key to Newcastle’s quarter finals success, and much the reason they face the champions in the semis today. In the second leg of the quarter-final against the Sharks Maxwell put on a masterful display of efficient basketball. He scored 19 points on 8-13 shooting, and lead both teams with a +10 +/-. The Eagles missed his play in the first game against the Riders though, as Maxwell had a quiet outing. After shooting 0-6 from the field and finishing with a measly two points, Maxwell will be looking to step things up in the second contest. The Eagles will be hoping for a repeat of his quarter-final heroics, and the Riders must be wary of a scoring coming off the bench. 

Previous Meeting

The Riders and Eagles had a close match in their first face-off, split by only a point in Leicester’s favour. Geno Crandall and Rahmon Fletcher had their usual masterful battle, and William Lee put on a forward’s clinic. The second game is almost a win-or-go-home knockout, and judging by the intense affair on Tuesday, fans are in store for another entertaining play-off knock-out. 

How To Watch

Although the game will be played behind closed doors, Riders fans will be able to tune in live on the Sky Sports Youtube Channel. Riders fans will also be able to watch the game free of charge by logging into their BBL Player account.

Winterburn Crowned as the Young Player of the Year

Holly Winterburn has been selected as the 2020-21 WBBL Young Player of the Year. Within the last four years, this is the third time the GB guard has won this award. 

This season, Holly has stepped up in a leadership role and has been an offensive threat within the league. As one of the youngest players on the Riders squad, Winterburn has averaged 31.2 minutes 14.9 points, 7 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. She led the team in average points, steals and was third in the league in assists. 

Key performances this season was a 36 point game against BA London Lions in their final matchup and a near triple-double against Manchester Met Mystics in March where she had 17 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists.

Winterburn has racked up awards this season where she has been featured in the All-Star Five on nine occasions, selected into the Molten WBBL All-British Team and Molten WBBL First Team. 

Holly has been a key factor in the Riders success this season, including winning the WBBL Cup, and we would like to congratulate her for receiving this award once again. 

Winterburn makes the 2020-21 Molten WBBL First Team

Holly Winterburn is selected into the 2020-21 Molten WBBL First Team and is the youngest player on the squad. 

After returning from Oregon, Winterburn stepped into a leadership role for the Riders and has been a difficult matchup for opposing teams in the WBBL. Holly is a continual threat on the court and the statistics alone show her impact in the game. This season, the GB guard averaged 31.2 minutes 14.9 points, 7 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. She finished leading the Riders in average points, assists (third in the league), and steals.

Her most notable game was against BA London Lions in their final matchup where she scored a season-high 36 points with six rebounds, five assists, two steals, two blocks and secured a road win. 

There were multiple occasions where she just missed out on a triple-double, but the closest performance was against Manchester Met Mystics in March where she had 17 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists in the WBBL Championship.

The Riders Assistant Coach Antonio Quintero commented: “I’m super happy for Holly and it is a well-deserved award. She worked hard every day and had an incredible season. Holly has shown her impact in the league through her basketball knowledge and by performing great in different areas of the game.”

2020-21 Molten WBBL First Team

Cat Carr (Sevenoaks Suns) – 18.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 1.4 steals.

Alison Gorrell (Newcastle Eagles) – 23.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.5 steals.

Kennedy Leonard (BA London Lions) – 15.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 11.3 assists, and 3.9 steals.

Holly Winterburn (Leicester Riders) – 14.9 points, 7 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 2.1 steals.

Cassie Breen (BA London Lions) – 18.7 points, 4 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

Riders would like to congratulate all the players who made the First Team as you all have had an amazing season and positively impacted the league. 

Stewart and Clark selected to the WBBL Defensive Team

Azania Stewart and Ella Clark are voted in the 2020-21 Molten WBBL Defensive Team of the Year. 

Riders had a reputation for their tenacious defence and Stewart slid right in when she joined the team. The GB Olympian led the league with 1.9 blocks per game and averaged 8.8 rebounds. Azania had double-digit rebounds five times during the regular season with a whopping 18 rebounds against the league leaders, Sevenoaks Suns. The 6’4 centre had four steals on two occasions and used her length to protect the rim, resulting in a season-high five blocks in a key matchup against BA London Lions. 

Over the last two seasons, Clark has been disruptive on the defensive end. This year, Ella joins Azania in the top two spots as she was second in the league with 1.6 blocks per game. She had a season-high four blocks against Essex Rebels and helped the team get revenge after Essex had ended their undefeated streak. The 6’3 forward also averaged 6.6 rebounds per game, with a season-high of 13 against Caledonia Pride. 

With the help of Stewart and Clark, the Riders allowed the fewest points in the paint (19) and limited opponents to a low field goal percentage of 33%.

Molten WBBL Defensive Team of the Year

Jasmine Joyner – 10.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.4 blocks

Azania Stewart – 8.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.9 blocks

Kennedy Leonard – 5.2 rebounds, 3.9 steals and 0.6 blocks

Shanice Beckford-Norton – 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 0.3 blocks

Ella Clark – 6.6 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.6 blocks

Congratulations to all the players that were selected for this team, especially Clark and Stewart for leading the Riders on the defensive end.

And finally… Meet the Champions

The Morningside Arena are excited to welcome you back to meet the 2021 BBL League Champions the Leicester Riders. The Arena has completed a refurbishment and added additional facilities to reassure guests that they can confidently return to the venue they have missed.


Join us on Wednesday 19th May for…

A soft drink/freshly brewed hot drink (included in your ticket)

Photos with the Trophy

Meet and greet the players

Autograph and photo opportunities

Exclusive merchandise offers

Grab and go snacks available

A chance to tell us your thoughts and ask any questions

One way system in operation

To maximise this offering to all, each ticket will allow for a 30 minute slot to enjoy the above. Arrival time as per ticket.

We look forward to welcome you all back to the Morningside Arena.


Riders take narrow lead into second leg

The BBL playoff semi-final remains firmly in the balance, after the Riders beat the Eagles 77-76 in the first leg. The Riders led their long-standing rivals by as much as 20, yet a comeback from the Eagles set up a dramatic second leg. 20 points, seven assists and four steals from Geno Crandall led the Riders, and a monumental season-high 34 point performance from fellow MVP candidate Rahmon Fletcher brought the Eagles back into contention.

The Riders began with a bang, with 36 points in the first period marking their highest-scoring quarter since 2012. Leicester were then held to 41 points for the rest of the game, resulting in a near ‘win or go home’ scenario in the second leg. William Lee scored five late points in the fourth quarter to give the Riders their slight advantage, including a monster fastbreak jam through contact. Lee dominated all aspects of the game, with 14 rebounds, two steals and two blocks accompanying his 18 points.

With their highest-scoring quarter in nine years, the Riders ended the first period up 36-18. Their offensive interior focus was met with little resistance, as they scored 30 of their 36 points at the rim or the free-throw line. They shot 69% from the field, with the Eagles unable to match their physicality inside. 

The Eagles began to drag themselves back into the tie after a disastrous start. Fletcher and Justin Gordon took over, scoring all of the Eagles’ 20 points in the period, yet Newcastle’s defensive play allowed them back into the match up. After conceding 36 in the first quarter, the Eagles held the Riders to 13 in the second as they shot 36% from the field. The Riders’ lead was pegged back to 11 as they headed into the locker room up 49-38. 

The third quarter was closely contested, with the teams going back and forth. The Eagles cut the Riders lead to single digits for the first time since midway through the opening period, but the Riders found a quick response through ‘general’ Geno. Crandall stole the ball for an easy layup, before draining a deep three on the next possession to bring the Leicester lead to 12. The play gave Riders momentum to end the quarter, as they went on an 8-2 run. Jamell Anderson finished off a four-second coast-to-coast basket, ending the quarter with the Riders up 68-52.

The Eagles flew out the gates in the final period with a 15-3 run. Back to back threes from Fletcher cut the Riders lead to five, before 16-year Eagles veteran Darius Defoe’s free-throw gave the Eagles their first lead with two minutes remaining. Fletcher scored 12 points in the fourth allowed the Eagles to win the quarter 24-9, yet five late points from Lee allowed the Riders to maintain a narrow advantage. 

The second leg will be played on Thursday, and a tie will be enough to send the Riders into the BBL playoff final. After a competitive first leg between old rivals, the second encounter promises a closely fought battle. 


Crandall 20, Lee 18, Heron 11, Walker 9, Nelson-Henry 6, Washington 6, Anderson 4, Johnson 3


Fletcher 34, Gordon 15, Edwards 12, Defoe 9, Sayers 2, Pflueger 2, Maxwell 2

Play Semi Final Preview: Riders v Eagles First Leg

The Riders take on the Eagles in the first leg of the BBL playoff semi-final. Tipping off at 5:00pm Tuesday, a transformed ‘May Madness’ Morningside Arena will host the clash of BBL titans. 

Season So Far – Riders

The Riders display of dominant basketball saw them progress to the semi-finals, comprehensively beating the Flyers 177- 135 over two legs. Riding a four-game streak in which they have trampled opponents, the Riders will be brimming with confidence. While their home court may have undergone a transformation, newly crowned BJA Coach of the Year Rob Paternostro will be looking to have his team performing at their familiar intense level. With suffocating defence ranked first in the league allowing only 76 points per game in the league season, and an opponent pushed hard in their previous round, the Riders will be confident in continuing their hot streak.

Season So Far – Eagles

The BBL’s 4th seed Newcastle Eagles were tested thoroughly by the Sharks in their quarter-final legs. The first leg finished with the two sides split by only a pair of points, and the second had them completely even, tied in points, assists, rebounds, and steals. The Eagles are a team that can hurt you quickly, leading the league in both assists per game with 23.7, and steals per game with 8.6. With the Riders and Eagles split by a measly 0.1 point per game, the semi-finals will likely be decided by who is more dominant defensively. 

Ones To Watch

The wait is finally over. Having performed at a spectacular level all season, Geno Crandall finally took his crown as the BJA player of the year. Despite battling through a wrist injury in the tail end of the league season, Crandall averages 15.9 points per game, 7.8 assists per game and 1.9 steals per game, all while being the most fouled player in British basketball with 5.0 fouls on him per game. In his last game he played the role of a facilitating point guard to a tee, finishing up with 11 assists and 6 rebounds. Geno Crandall is as dazzling a player with the ball in his hands as it gets and is one to watch for as the Riders face a team he loves to show out against. 

Eagles power forward Justin Gordon has been nothing short of incredible in his play during the play-offs. Dropping 45 points on 17-25 shooting over the two quarter-final legs is scary. Add on his 16 rebounds and 8 assists and you have one that has to be watched by fans and stopped by the Riders. Paternostro’s side will know this is no easy task though, as in their previous meeting Gordon hammered home a stat-line of 24 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. The 6’6” Wofford graduate has the size and athleticism to threaten the rim, and the touch and range to drop shots from behind the arc. He is a puzzle the Riders must find an answer to if they plan to continue their dominant play into the semi-finals. 

Previous Meeting 

The Riders and Eagles last met on the 16th of April in Newcastle a the Vertu Motors Arena. The match was a tale of two halves, the Riders up by 11 after two quarters, but a turnover ridden second half costing them the game, finishing 90-80. The Eagles took a massive 22 more shots than the Leicester side. Both ones to watch put on a show, Crandall dropping a double-double with 16 points and 10 assists, and Gordon almost doing the same with 24 and 8 respectively. 

How To Watch

The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event, Arena and Mix from 4:30. Alternatively Riders fans can watch the game live and free on the Sky Sports Youtube Channel.

Winterburn and Stewart make the WBBL All-British Team

Holly Winterburn and Azania Stewart are voted in the Molten WBBL All-British Team of the Year. 

Winterburn was unanimously voted in by the WBBL coaches and is the youngest to make the team. The captain continually filled the stat sheet with an outstanding 36 points against BA London Lions and a near triple-double with 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the WBBL Cup final against Sevenoaks Suns. To finish the season, the GB guard led the Riders with 14.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals and was second in total rebounds with 7 rebounds per game. 

Stewart was an excellent new addition as she brought both experience, leadership and post-play to the Riders. The GB Olympian came out of retirement effortless as she averaged 10.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. Stewart had two standout performances against the league leaders, Sevenoaks Suns, with a near triple-double of 12 points, 7 assists and 8 rebounds and a season-high 18 rebounds.

Head Coach Jesper Sundberg commented: “Winterburn and Stewart have performed at a high-level on both ends of the court. Holly grew her game this year as a facilitator and stepping up vocally for the team. Azania came in late and worked her way in to a leading role. She was a constant threat around the rim and a defensive anchor in the paint.”

Molten WBBL All-British Team of the Year

Holly Winterburn – 14.9 points, 7 rebounds and 6.2 assist

Kennedy Leonard – 15.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 11.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds

Georgia Jones – 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds,  and 5.3 assists

Claire Paxton – 15.7 points, 9 rebounds and 3.2 assists

Azania Stewart – 10.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists

Congratulations to all the players that were selected for this team, especially Winterburn and Stewart for representing the Leicester Riders!

Charnwood Get Their First WEABL Summer Showcase Win

Charnwood College Riders defeat Derby Trailblazers Academy in their WEABL Summer Showcase opener, 64-52.

After one lead change in the first quarter, the Riders remained in control throughout the contest. A three from both Molly James and Kate Davies helped the hosts go on a 8-point scoring run in the first. However, Derby scraped their way back  to make it a 3-point game to start the second quarter. Despite all efforts from the Trailblazers, Charnwood went on a tear in the second half extending their lead to 18 points. Just like the EABL team, Charnwood’s depth was a key contributor to the team’s success as they had 27 bench points compared to Derby’s 13.

Kacey Cox led the Riders with an 11 point and 11 rebound double-double, whist Lovatt had 16 points for the Trailblazers. 


Riders: K. Cox 11, James 11, Lecuyer 8, Bird 7, Shaw 6, Lambert 5, Davies 5, Januszewska 4, B. Cox 3, Read 2, Shadrick 2. 

Trailblazers: Lovatt 16, Obanor 8, Hamilton 6, Barker 5, Sklepic 5, Hutton 4, Adair 4.

Charnwood College are next in action against the Manchester Mystics Academy at 4pm on April Wednesday 12th April. 

Charnwood Win their EABL Showcase Opener

Charnwood College Riders defeat Derby Trailblazers Academy in their EABL Summer Showcase opener, 83-69.

Out the gate, Riders showed their defensive tenacity scoring 11 out of 21 points off Derby turnovers. After 11 lead changes, the host team had a short nine point run until Blake Bowman’s offensive versatility closed the gap for the Trailblazers. By halftime Charnwood’s depth was on notice as they had 15 bench points led by Campbell’s five. Riders added more pressure defensively in the third with seven steals and causing nine turnovers for the visitors. To finish up,  Greg Wild led by example as he took over offensively in the fourth with 13 points and was assisted by Kanu’s six points and two steals. 

Wild and Ndoukou led the scoring for the Riders with 26 and 12 points respectively. Whilst, Bowman had a standout 39-point performance for the Trailblazers with 17 in the fourth.


Riders: Wild 26, Ndoukou 12, Gudza 10, Perry 10, Hanson 8, Campbell 7,  County 6, Hadly 2, Banwo 2.

Trailblazers: Bowman 39, Alexander 14, Addo 8, Hopper 8.

Charnwood College are next in action against the Manchester Magic Academy at 12.30pm on Sunday 16th May .


In the last encounter between the Loughborough Riders and Nottingham Trent University back in December, the Riders won in a close one-point game. The Riders were looking to take the win again and were able to do exactly that in another close match. 

The Rides came out stronger of the two teams and stayed in the lead throughout a very fast paced first half. Several rebounds and a strong performance from Makana Stone with 8 points in the first quarter, gave the Riders a 5-point lead going into the second quarter. The second quarter saw the Trent’s close the gap to the Riders with the Riders leading by only one point. The Riders fouled in the last few seconds and the Trent’s used that opportunity by scoring in both the free throws and started the second quarter at 33-34. 

An early start from the Trent’s in the third quarter, put them in the lead for the first time in the game. However, they were not able to maintain it for long as both teams kept going back and forth and kept the score on the board extremely close. Going into the fourth and final quarter, the Riders continued to stay in the lead but only by 2 points. An early start from the Trent’s again, tied the score within the first few seconds. Both teams kept the same momentum as the previous quarter and kept the score extremely close. With just under two minutes left, the Trent’s were leading by 5 points. However, a 3-point jump shot by Robyn Ainge and a free throw by Makana Stone helped them close the gap to just 1 point with just 30 seconds remaining in the game. Two successful free throws by Makana Stone put the Riders back in the lead with just over 10 seconds left in the game and eventually gave them the win in a thrilling 75-73 game. 

The Riders were led by Makana Stone’s 20 points and Hannah Bird’s 7 assists. While, the Trent’s were led by Mady Burdett’s 21 points and Brahe Ashton’s 11 assists. 


Riders: M. Stone 20, K. Januszewska 16, R. Ainge 13, H. Bird 7, M. James 7, L. Dabbs 4, S. Lecuyer 3, A. Shaw 3, K. Cox 2

Trents: M. Burdett 21, N. Campbell 16, E. Dekker 13, I. Bueriberi 11, A. Whitehouse 8, I. Hill 2, I. Guerreiro 2

We will now see the Riders next in the play-offs as this was their last game of the regular season.

Captains Log: On to the Semi Finals

On to the Semi Finals!

After a great start up in Newcastle, it was a comfortable game for us on Wednesday in Worcester. Much like the regular season, we took care of business early on. This made the second leg a little more relaxed, however, we finished with another desirable result. 

We are matched up against Newcastle now in the semi-finals. This will be a great series, one the fans want to see! A rivalry has existed between these two teams for some time, and it will be exciting to participate in a heated matchup. 

The guys are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to secure a second title this season. We are focused and ready to go! 

Not much left to say, other than thank you for the continued support, and keep it coming for the remainder of the playoffs!

You Captain, Darien Nelson-Henry

Coach Rob: A very professional job over two legs

The first leg Against Bristol was an excellent result for us, and even at halftime, with just a three-point margin, I was feeling good about us. We had got open looks and just not knocked the shots down, so I felt that would come. But we did need to do a better job of keeping them off the boards and looking after the ball, and we did that in the second half.

They had scored 23 points off second chance efforts and our turnovers in the first half, so they were obvious areas to tighten up. And we did that very well. Geno Crandall was tremendous. He finds the guys in very good positions to score and makes it look easy.

William Lee was also exceptional. His five blocks really intimidated them inside, and he did everything very efficiently. Darien Nelson Henry was also very solid.

It was great to see Mo out there and making such an excellent contribution after all his time off with injury. He gives us something different with his size and he was a real presence for us in the middle. What was especially nice was we never let up and our biggest lead of the game came right at the end.

The second leg was a really professional job by the guys. We went into the game with a 29-point lead, and you worry, as a coach, whether the intensity would be there. I thought after the first 5 minutes or so we did a very good job. When you look at the stat sheet, we had six guys who had double figure points and one on nine points.

It was a real balanced effort, and nobody had to play big minutes, and we got the W. It was actually a very professional job over the two legs.

It was a long week of travel, so it is a real bonus to come home and get rested. We got the 2-legged semi coming up next week followed, hopefully, by the final, so that is going to be a big demand on all the players. I am also proud of the guys achieving the 30-win in the season milestone.

Riders through to Semi Finals after defeating Flyers

The Riders cruised through to the semi-final of the BBL playoffs, beating the Bristol Flyers 92-77 in the second leg and 177-135 on aggregate. William Lee led the Riders with 17 points, nailing three of his six three-point attempts in a comfortable game after a dominant first leg. 

Geno Crandall demonstrated the effect he can have on a game without scoring, making his only field goal in the first quarter while enjoying a solid performance. He recorded 11 assists, three steals and a block in a well-rounded effort. With Crandall’s team-first mentality in full effect, the Riders had six players score double-digit points, with three coming off the bench. They dished 27 assists while shooting 49% from the floor; their fluid offence proving too much for the Flyers. 

Off the back of a statement game in the first leg, Mo Walker was dominant down low. His 11 points and nine rebounds nearly enough for a double-double, as he bullied his opposition in the paint. Mustapha Heron started hot, scoring 12 first-half points and 16 in the game, and Jamell Anderson put up 12 points off the bench off just five shots. 

After a disastrous previous fixture, the Flyers made a good account of themselves in their final game of the season. Ben Mockford scored a game-high 19 points to keep his team in the second leg until late, going 3-6 from three. Bristol shot 38% from behind the arc after going 2-23 in the last encounter, a much-improved showing following a cold shooting night. 

The Flyers began the game with the freedom of a team with little to lose. The deficit appeared to take the weight off Bristol’s shoulders as they jumped out to a quick six-point lead. They displayed fluidity in their offence seen rarely in the first leg, dishing seven assists in the first quarter after registering just 14 in the previous fixture.

In a slight hole early, the Riders relied on Crandall for a response. The 6’3” guard rose amongst the giants at the rim, pulling off a chase-down block on 6’8” Flyers center Daniel Edozie. The block was the beginning of a 6-0 Riders run, with a monumental Mo Walker dunk tying the game while nearly bringing down the rim. 

The majority of the first half was close and competitive, before the Riders established their first significant lead late in the second quarter. Leicester forced the Flyers into speculative outside shots, flexing their BBL best defensive. A 16-2 Riders run to closed out the half. The teams entered the locker rooms with the score 49-41 in the Riders’ favour. 

Lee kicked off the third quarter with a bang, scoring eight straight points in two minutes to propel the Riders to a double-digit lead. Winning by over 30 on aggregate, the Riders cruised through the quarter. With ‘general Geno’ at the centre of it all, their off-ball movement and willing passing challenged the Flyers, who fought valiantly to keep the second-leg close. Anderson’s free throws ended the quarter with the Riders leading by eight in the game, and 36 on aggregate. 

After a scoreless opening two minutes, the Riders kicked off the fourth quarter with a Conner Washington three. The Riders played to the final buzzer, winning the last period 20-11. Walker scored seven points in the quarter, ending the game with a layup assisted by Loughborough prospect Justin Hedley. 

The win sees the Riders through to the second round of the BBL Playoffs. The tie will be played at home, with the remainder of the playoffs hosted at the Morningside Arena. The Riders continue their run, hoping to win the playoffs for the fourth consecutive time. 


Lee 17, Heron 16, Anderson 12, Walker 11, Johnson 10, Falzon 10, Nelson-Henry 9, Washington 4, Crandall 3


Mockford 19, Wilcher 16, Delpeche 13, Edozie 8, Rogers 8, Lockett 6, Thomas-Edwards 5, Baker 4

Playoff Quarter Final Preview: Riders v Flyers Second Leg

The Riders face off against the Bristol Flyers in the second leg of the BBL Playoff quarter-final, after a dominant display in the first leg. The Riders beat the Flyers 85-56, after a monumental second-half performance, winning by 26 in the final two periods. 

Season So Far – Riders

The league champions continued their hot form entering the playoffs, putting themselves in a strong position to progress into the semi-finals. The Riders have won their previous two fixtures by a combined 61 points, flexing their best-ranked BBL defence in both encounters. Leicester’s perimeter defence has been stifling, with their athletic wing defenders locking down their opponent’s outside game. Over the last two games, the Riders opposition has shot a combined 4-36 from three and 39% from the field, unable to make shots consistently against the Riders, who gave up just 76 points per game during the league season. Should the Riders continue to play up to their elite standards defensively, they will feel confident in progressing to the next round. 

Season So Far – Flyers

Despite taking a difficult loss in the opening leg, the Flyers have an opportunity for redemption in the second tie. They can take positives out of the previous game, as they held the Riders to 33 first-half points to keep the game within a possession. The Flyers are one of four BBL teams to hold opponents under 80 points in the BBL Championship season, and demonstrated their defensive prowess in the first half. Ending the season with successive wins to book their place in the playoffs, Bristol will hope to recapture good form in an attempt to climb back into the tie. Upsetting the Newcastle Eagles in their final game should present the Flyers with the confidence they need for a comeback win. 

Ones To Watch

After two long term injuries sidelined him for the best part of two seaons, Mo Walker appeared back to his brilliant best in the first leg. In the absence of Ali Fraser, Walker led the frontcourt off the bench in a dominant outing.  Walker scored 16 points in 17 minutes, going 7-8 from the floor in an efficient display. The big-man out of the University of Minnesota scored nine straight points to stretch the Riders lead to 29 in a game in which every minute counted. Using his 6’10” frame, Walker bullied defenders down low to feast at the rim, making his presence known inside. He will hope to continue his momentum into the second leg to put the tie to bed. 

The Flyers leading score through the BBL Championship season, Eric Lockett kept his team in contention during the first half of the previous game. Lockett scored half of Bristol’s 30 first-half points, including eight straight in the second quarter kicked off by a monster fastbreak jam. With Lockett scoring just one point in the second half and Bristol falling behind in the tie, they relied on Lockett’s scoring ability to compete in the game. Lockett, who averaged 14.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as a Sophomore at Florida International University, is an athletic wing capable of beating players off the dribble, finishing through contact and pulling up with a smooth jumper. The Flyers will look to Lockett to lead them back into the fixture. 

Previous Metting

The first leg was a second-half Riders blowout, as the league champs won 85-56. Geno Crandall put up an emphatic double-double, with 21 points and 10 assists, and William Lee dominated the paint with a colossal five blocks. The job remains unfinished, however, as Leicester will remain focused on seeing the game home in the second leg. 

How to Watch

Although the game will be played behind closed doors, Riders fans will be able to tune in live on the Sky Sports Youtube Channel. Riders fans will also be able to watch the game free of charge by logging into their BBL Player account. 

May Madness Quarterfinal Knockout

Tough May Madness quarterfinal for the Riders women as they fall to Newcastle Eagles, 73-79.

Riders started the game off strong with an 8-0 run before Newcastle’s Perez hit a jump shot to shift the momentum back into the host’s favour. The second quarter gave Eagles their first lead of the game where they never looked back. Turnovers haunted the Riders as they had 7 alone in that quarter and 15 in the game. A short push in the third started by Lappenkuper’s layup tied the ball game, however Gorrell responded with a 2-point jumper to put Newcastle back on top. Two key free throws in the final 25 seconds solidified Eagle’s win and knocked Riders out of the 2021 playoffs. 

For the Riders, Hannah Robb put up an impressive 18 points, Stewart had 13 points and 8 rebounds and Winterburn had a near triple-double of 9 points, 7 rebounds and 10 assists. While the Eagles duo, Abbey Lowe and Alison Gorrell, had a combined 50 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists and 8 steals. 


Riders: Robb 18, Stewart 13, Brewer 13, Lappenkuper 10, Winterburn 9, Januszewska 6, Clark 4.

Eagle: Lowe 26, Gorrell 24, Mcvicar 13, Rodriguez Perez 9, Bland 7.

Riders women would like to thank everyone that has contributed to this season, which includes the players, staff, fans, sponsors and the WBBL. It hasn’t been easy, but we got through it. Good luck to everyone else remaining in the playoffs and we look forward to returning next season!

Riders defeat Flyers in Quarter Final first leg

The Riders kicked off May Madness with a bang, dominating the first leg of the quarter-final to beat the Bristol Flyers 85-56. A commanding second half, which Leicester won 52-26, puts them in a strong position entering the second leg on Wednesday. Geno Crandall enjoyed a tremendous double-double with 21 points and ten assists, leading the team in both categories. 

With the BBL’s best rim protection, blocking 3.1 shots a game, the Riders forced Bristol to take outside looks, of which they made just two of their 23 attempts. William Lee was an imposing presence in the paint, swatting five shots, including two colossal blocks on Eric Lockett and Raphell Thomas-Edwards. Compiling highlights on both ends, Lee threw down a monster alley-oop from Crandall’s lob pass during a 17-2 Riders run in the third, which allowed them to jump out to a substantial lead. 

A team effort saw the Riders to a blowout win. They had five double-digit point contributions in the game, as they dominated in the paint. Leicester’s big-men shot 20-25 from the field, with Mo Walker enjoying a statement game. Coming off two long term injuries, which sidelined him for the better part of two seasons, Walker was back to his brilliant best, making seven of his eight shots for 16 points. 

Through the first two quarters, it was a close encounter between two top-four BBL defences. Led by Lockett, who scored 15 of the Flyers 30 first-half points, Bristol kept the game within a possession until the half. Unable to keep pace with Leicester, the game got away from the Flyers in the second half, as the Riders held Locket to one point. Yet they will take the positives of the early stages into the next leg. 

Bristol could find these positives in the tightly contested first quarter, which the Riders won by just one. The period was fought in the paint, with 27 of the 32 points scored coming at the rim or the free-throw line. Despite the Flyers’ competitive start, the quarter’s highlight came from Lee, who dominated early with four rebounds in five minutes and a monster block. The University of Alabama’s all-time leading shot-blocker rose high to meet Lockett at the rim before swatting his layup out of bounds.  

Lockett took over the early stages of the second quarter. He kept his side in the fixture, scoring eight straight points for Bristol. An immense dunk kick-started his run. He glided through the air on the fastbreak before throwing the ball down one-handed. Lockett concluded a low scoring half, stringing a shot from midrange to cut into the Riders’ slight lead. The teams entered the locker rooms with the score 33-30 in Leicester’s favour. 

The Riders established their first significant lead of the game in a fast-paced beginning to the third quarter. Two threes in quick succession put them up 12, as Leicester scored 18 points in the opening five minutes of the period. Lee stamped the exclamation point on an emphatic Riders run, linking up with Geno Crandall for a lob. Crandall went between his legs before lobbing the ball up high from beyond the arc, as Lee jumped out the arena to catch it and throw it down with authority.

The Riders won the third quarter 32-15, led by 11 points from Lee. Lee claimed his second colossal block of the game to end the period. It was Thomas-Edwards on the receiving end on this occasion. He drove inside and threw up a layup, before Lee helped from the weak side to rise high above everybody and swat it away, ending the quarter with his team up 65-45.

In a two-legged tie, the final quarter remained vitally important to the Riders, despite holding a 20 point lead. Crandall joined the game’s lengthy highlight reel to continue his team’s momentum, breaking Daniel Edozie’s ankles with lightning-fast handles. Taking the big man off the dribble, Crandall stepped back to cause Edozie to stumble, before taking the ball to the rim and drawing a foul. 

To see the game home, Walker scored nine successive points to the delight of the Riders bench. Walker’s run put Leicester up 29, a lead they would maintain until the buzzer. 

The win puts the Riders in good stead for the second leg on Wednesday 5th May. Coach Rob will insist to his team that the job is not finished. The University of Worcester Arena will host the second fixture, with the Riders hoping to progress to the BBL Playoff semi-finals. 


Crandall 21, Walker 16, Nelson-Henry 14, Lee 13, Heron 11, Johnson 5, Washington 4, Anderson 1


Lockett 16, Edozie 10, Baker 7, Wilcher 7, Delpeche 6, Mockford 4, Thomas Edwards 4, Rogers 2

Playoff Quarter Final Preview: Riders v Flyers First Leg

Riders kick off their May Madness and play-off campaign on bank holiday Monday at 5:00pm, facing the Bristol Flyers at the Vertu Motors Arena in Newcastle. The Leicester side look to build on their regular season success as champions in the first leg of the quarter finals.

Season so Far – Riders 

The Riders enter the BBL play-offs as league champions, holding the trophy above their heads for the 5th time in club history. The Riders secured the title in their last game, comprehensively beating the Cheshire Phoenix 65-97. The season was one of great defence and efficient offence for the Riders. The Leicester side hold a defensive rating of 99.64 which ranks second in the league and boast the premier field-goal percentage in the league with 48.2%. These two pillars of their game will be on full display over the course of the two legs, as the Riders look to build on a promising 2020/21 campaign. 

Season so Far – Flyers

Where there was a battle at the top of the table in the final games of the regular season, there was also a battle near the bottom. The Flyers went head-to-head with the Manchester Giants, both vying for the eighth and final play-off spot. It was the Flyers that came out on top, grit and determination squeezing out an 83-81 comeback victory. Following this, the Bristol Side further cemented their spot at 8th beating talented 4th placed Newcastle Eagles 86-73.  While the Flyers struggled to score as efficiently as other teams in the league, posting a modest 43.9 field-goal percentage, good for 9th in the league, they managed to work around it. The Bristol side are the third best rebounding team in the BBL allowing them plenty opportunity to score, and keep games close through suffocating defence. After scrapping their way into the play-offs, it will be a fight to knock them back out again.

Ones To Watch

Leicester Riders captain and starting center Darien Nelson-Henry will be looking to fire his side up for the post-season action. Leicester number 50 recorded a double-double in his last performance, scoring 19 points and pulling down 11 rebounds, and will be relied upon again to assert himself inside the paint. Averaging 12.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, good for second on the Riders in both, Nelson-Henry is a leader on and off the field. Being one of the most experienced players on the court and standing at 6’11”, Nelson-Henry can be seen orchestrating the Riders team from down low, utilising his vision out of the post to find his team opportunities. With a game that is not done justice by the box score, Nelson-Henry influences the match with smart contests and rotations defensively, as well as great coordination offensively, often having a hand in positive plays without a stat being recorded. The Leicester captain will be hungrier than ever, as he tastes BBL play-offs for the first time in his career. 

For the Flyers, small forward Eric Lockett delivered an impressive performance in their last match and is their one to watch Monday afternoon. Against 4th placed Newcastle, Lockett posted a stat-line of 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists on only eight field-goal attempts, getting to the free throw line often to sink 5 of 8 shots. Playing 28 of 30 games this season, and averaging 31.1 minutes per game, Locket is a core piece to the Flyers. He leads his side in scoring averaging 15 points per game, as well as securing 7 rebounds per game and 4.2 assists per game, trailing only teammates Marcus Delpeche and Teddy Okereafor. A former NCAA Division 1 player, Lockett can be found on the Bristol wing slashing to the hoop and jumping on second chance opportunities. The Riders will look to contain Lockett with disciplined defence to avoid him damaging them at the charity stripe. 

Previous Meeting

The last meeting between these two sides was not a positive one for the Riders. Taking place on March 30th, 2020, and the second of a double-header, the Leicester Riders suffered a shock home blowout, the score 54-80. This was however, without Riders’ star point guard Geno Crandall, who will be on the court causing headaches against the Bristol Flyers Monday. 

How To Watch

Although the game will be played behind closed doors, Riders fans will be able to tune in live on the Sky Sports website or app. Riders fans will also be able to watch the game free of charge by logging into their BBL Player account.