Recap: Riders beat Donar

The Riders beat seven-time Dutch champions Donar Groningen 104-75, to start their pre-season campaign 2-0. 

It was an impressive win against established European opponents, as this newly formed Riders outfit appears to have gelled quickly. 

Kimbal Mackenzie led the team with 17 points, backed up by his backcourt teammate Jaren Holmes’ 16.

It was a confident display throughout. Donar’s only led the game for 15 seconds early in the first quarter, as the Riders took control of the tie. They won all four quarters, and after a Groningen surge to make it 52-51 to get the second half underway, the Riders blew the game wide open. 

Their points total, surpassing a century, came from only five three-point makes. The Riders play style leant into their youth and athleticism, outscoring Donar on the fast break 27-4. 

An eight-point quarter from Mackenzie got them over the line, the newly named captain continuing his hot form from last season which saw him named to the BBL British Team of the Year. 

Following up a 15 point game in the Riders’ pre-season opener, American rookie Jaren Holmes caught the eye once again with another impressive scoring display. 

As was the case in Leicester’s pre-season opener against Loughborough University, forward Myrine Thomas led them out the gate with his infectious energy. His seven-point first quarter set the tone from the jump. 

Meanwhile, after a 13 point showing against Loughborough, young forward Blake Bowman continued to show the promise of his potential. The East Midlands native had 12 points and five rebounds, leading the game with a +/- of 22.

“I thought we did a really good job,” commented Head Coach Rob Paternostro.

“Our depth has been impressive. We played 10 guys, and all of them made a great impact. We know we have a long way to go, but I like where we’re going.

“These are the types of trips where you learn a lot about your team, and because we have so many new players this season, it’s a great opportunity for them to bond on and off the court.”

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