British Basketball League side Leicester Riders will host a pre-season triangular tournament at Loughborough University as they prepare for the new season on September 27 against Manchester Giants.
Liga Endesa side Rio Monbus and Eurochallenge entrants Okapi Aalstar of Belgium will provide the opposition on September 19-21.
For the Riders, it will provide them with competition from leagues considered to be the most competitive in Europe; with Rio Monbus playing in the league regarded as the best outside of the NBA and Okapi Aalstar competing in the third tier of European club basketball next season.
“We are absolutely delighted to bring top European basketball to Leicestershire,” Leicester Riders coach Rob Paternostro said.
“We know these are two very good clubs with a lot of pedigree and they will pose a big challenge to our team.
“I think it is a measure of how the Riders are now being viewed that we can attract top European teams here. I believe it will be an excellent preparation for our guys and of course also for our fans to see top quality teams.”
Rio Monbus finished 12th in the Liga Endesa last season having beaten Bilbao 94-92 in their final game. The Santiago-based side defeated Euroleague giants Barcelona in that same season.
“For us to participate in a tournament of this level and out of Spain is very important, both in a sporting context and for the image of club and promotion of our sponsors,” Rio Monbus General Manager, Jose Luis Mateo said.
“Leicester Riders is an up and coming organization, with a lot of passion and that is doing the things very well and with a clear vision.
“I expect that Galician people who live in the United Kingdom to enjoy the presence of our team during the three days.”
“I would like to give thanks to Leicester Riders organisation for invite us to their preseason tournament,” Rio Monbus coach Moncho Fernándezadded. “For us it will be a great opportunity to check our shape a couple of weeks before start the Endesa League.
“This kind of tournament are always a great chance to improve the tactical skills at the same time that we share experiences with others basketball styles and especially with others players and coaches.”
19th September, 19.30hrs – Leicester Riders vs. Rio Monbus
20th September, 17.00hrs – Okapi Aalstar vs. Rio Monbus
21st September, 17.00hrs – Leicester Riders vs. Okapi Aalstar