One of the highlights of Friday s and Saturday s games will almost certainly be the clash between Marshall MK Lions, and Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders on Saturday night, at John Sandford Sports Centre. The Riders will want to put right the 67-89 beating that the Lions handed them back in October, and both teams come into the game off the back of victories. Lions' owner-coach Vince Macaulay (pictured) said he is excited at the prospect of facing a side who he claims are going through a transition.
Having parted company with starting point guard Tack Minor just before the Christmas break, the Riders have returned the athletic Duane James as his replacement, and after a set of mixed results, picked up a morale boosting 87-92 win over Guildford Heat last Sunday. Macaulay said on the East Midlands leading franchise: Against the Riders this Saturday we have to be wary as they are going through a transition, they have lost a very good player and are once again trying to find their identity. He also said that the fact that former Lion Tony Windless features in the Riders side, will add some spice to the game: I expect a tough encounter he added: Whilst we have more size than they do I feel, but with ex-Lion Tony Windless in the side, they will be fired up.
Leicester boss Rob Paternostro, took his hat off to the performance of his bench players last weekend, in two key wins, as the Riders beat Essex Pirates on Saturday night prior to the Guildford trip: I thought two games in a row our bench of Aaron Westbrooks, Tony Windless, Duane James, and Barry Lamble played very well he said: Our depth is one of our strengths and on Sunday we were able to play all nine guys for fifteen minutes or more.
Another double header confronts Leicester this week, as before they welcome Milton Keynes to their home court; they must make the trip to Sheffield Sharks on Friday night, as they look to avenge their BBL Cup Semi Final aggregate loss to the Yorkshire based club. Another team looking for revenge will be PAWS London Capital, as they bid to cause an upset against Newcastle Eagles on Friday evening, whilst two of Team GB coaching staff meet once again, as Tony Garbelotto (Everton Tigers coach) and Tim Lewis (Essex Pirates boss), take their men into battle at Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre on Saturday evening. Despite Airwaves Plymouth Raiders having won eleven of their thirteen games against Worcester Wolves, the West Midlanders had the last laugh with an 83-85 BBL Trophy First Round defeat of Plymouth, so revenge appears to be the theme this weekend, as the Raiders will try to make up for last time against the Wolves.
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