Leicester Riders made it four wins on the bounce with a 108-94 win against the Sheffield Sharks.
The win improved their record to 14-11 in the British Basketball League Championship, one win behind the Caledonia Gladiators in third.
Here’s how the Riders reacted to the win…
Teddy Allen- “Pressure is a privilege.”
Star guard Teddy Allen went off for his highest-scoring night in Riders red so far, exploding for 35 points and 12 rebounds.
It was one of only two such performances in the last 15 years in the British Basketball League, as the leading scorer continues to take the League by storm.
He put the scoring load on his back when the team needed him most last night.
“Pressure is a privilege,” said Allen, when asked how he handles the scoring responsibility when the Riders need a basket.
“I’m happy my teammates put me in those positions and that I could deliver for them when my opportunities arose. I’m just happy to get this win at home with my team.”
The Riders found themselves in a double-digit hole in the first half, and gave up the highest-scoring half in the Sharks’ season so far. Defence was the priority for the Riders to come back.
“We had to lock in on defence. You’re not going to win many games if you give up 57 in a half. We did that in the second half, and I’m proud of my guys.”
Allen has hit the ground running with the Riders since signing in December. He spoke about how his relationship with Head Coach Rob Paternostro has allowed him to succeed.
“We have a lot of trust in each other. He has never got on me for a shot- he just wants me to play my game, and he trusts me in those moments. I can do nothing but thank him and be appreciative to have a coach like that.”
Rob Paternostro- “He’s worth the price of admission!”
Coach Paternostro repaid the compliment from Allen, signing the American’s praises after the win.
“He’s worth the price of admission! He was awesome tonight. He had two quick fouls, but we rode him for a while, and he did a good job of not fouling.
“What’s impressive about Teddy is his stamina. He has the ball a lot and takes a lot of shots, but he doesn’t get tired. He can stay on the floor for a long time without me needing to give him a break. He came up big tonight.”
After a tough start to the game, unable to stop the Sharks’ scoring onslaught, Paternstro made adjustments at the half to slow Sheffield down.
“To give them credit, they were really shooting the ball well, and we struggled to guard them in the first half. But we knew if we were in the game after they shot like that, then this one could be ours.
“We had to do better in transition and stop second chance points, and we were much better defensively after halftime.”
The Riders saw it out in the clutch for the second straight game, after they beat the Caledonia Gladiators in the final minutes on the road last weekend.
Getting wins out of close games has given the group confidence in those situations.
“It was an entertaining game! Anyone who was here tonight enjoyed that. We really made the big plays late in the game, which we’ve been doing as of late. We played really well in the second half.
“Our guys were really confident late in the game. When it’s tight, we feel like we can see the game out, and earlier in the year, we didn’t have the same confidence after we lost a couple of close ones.”
It’s a quick turnaround for the Riders, who head to Plymouth to take on the Patriots on Sunday afternoon. Rest and recovery is the priority for the Riders.
“Rest is our biggest focus now. We know Plymouth can be a difficult opponent and challenging on the road. It’s our first time there this season, so we have to go down here and have a solid game to finish the weekend right.”
The Riders return to the Mattioli Arena on March 1, taking on the Cheshire Phoenix.