‘It is a lesson learned for us, but I am confident the team can bounce back’
COACH SAYS COMMITTING 19 TURNOVERS AGAINST THE FLYERS IS ‘GOING TO KILL YOU’
LEICESTER Riders’ five-game winning streak came to an abrupt halt with a stunning home defeat to Bristol Flyers on Tuesday night, but Riders still remain ten points clear at the top of the BBL Championship.
Bristol outscored Riders 28-7 in the final quarter, inflicting by far Riders’ heaviest defeat of the season.
It was the third game in a row Riders were without their star guard Geno Crandall, putting enormous pressure on the rest of Leicester’s backcourt.
Riders now need to bounce back with an away trip to Manchester Giants on Sunday afternoon (5pm), particularly after title rivals London Lions thumped Surrey Scorchers 109-90 on Wednesday night, and have games in hand on clubs above them.
Head coach Rob Paternostro wants his team to move on quickly from the Bristol defeat.
“We just ran out of gas against the Flyers on Tuesday,” he said.
“We had played them away on Saturday night and really performed decently.
“Our defence was up to scratch, we moved the ball pretty well, and hit the open shots.
“When you do that, it stops too much pressure being put on your defence in transition and gives you time to get set up.
“Also, we looked after the ball, which is really important in these types of games.
“But it is always tough playing the same opponents twice in three days, and particularly one fighting for a play-off spot.
“So, I knew we were in for a battle at the Morningside Arena and I did not like the way we started.
“There was a lack of structure and purpose and our intensity was not there.
“But we still went into half-time on level scores, so I though we were in a decent place.
“And we started the second half well and managed to build a 47-40 lead and I thought we might be able to sneak it.
“But a couple of the guys were fatigued, and I had to take them out, and it fell away from there.
“We committed 19 turnovers which is going to kill you, and it turned into one-way traffic.
“We scored only about five points over 15 minutes and that is not going to win any game.
“It is a lesson learned for us, but I am confident we can bounce back.
“We now have a nice break before Sunday which we need.
“After that the schedule gets heavier.
“We need to stay confident and hope we can get Geno back soon.”
“We will be going up against another team fighting for the final play-off position so it won’t get any easier.”
Riders have seven games left in the BBL Championship, including matches against their main title rivals London Lions, Newcastle Eagles and Plymouth Raiders.
Riders’ match at Newcastle Eagles on Friday, April 16 has been confirmed as the live Sky TV game, and so the tip-off has been moved back to 7.30pm.