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BBL Standings
 1. Bristol AF 0-0 
 2. Cheshire P. 0-0 
 3. Glasgow Rocks 0-0 
 4. Leeds Force 0-0 
 5. Leicester R. 0-0 
 6. London Lions 0-0 
 7. Manchester G. 0-0 
 8. Newcastle E. 0-0 
 9. Plymouth R. 0-0 
 10. Sheffield S. 0-0 
 11. Surrey S. 0-0 
 12. Worcester W. 0-0 
NBL D1 Standings
 1. Bradford D. 0-0 
 2. Derby T. 0-0 
 3. Hemel Storm 0-0 
 4. Kent C. 0-0 
 5. Lancashire S 0-0 
 6. Leicester W. 0-0 
 7. London Lituanica 0-0 
 8. Loughborough 0-0 
 9. Manchester M. 0-0 
 10. Northumbria 0-0 
 11. Reading R. 0-0 
 12. Solent K. 0-0 
 13. Team Newcastle U. 0-0 
 14. Worthing T. 0-0 
NBL D2 Standings
 1. Birmingham E. 0-0 
 2. Derbyshire A. 0-0 
 3. Essex L. 0-0 
 4. Ipswich T. 0-0 
 5. Liverpool 0-0 
 6. London GP 0-0 
 7. London W. 0-0 
 8. Middlesex LTBC 0-0 
 9. Nottingham H. 0-0 
 10. Sussex B. 0-0 
 11. Thames Valley C. 0-0 
 12. Westminster W. 0-0 
NBL D3 Standings
 1. Birmingham M. 0-0 
 2. Chester 0-0 
 3. Coventry T. 0-0 
 4. Danum E. 0-0 
 5. Loughborough 2 0-0 
 6. Manchester G. 2 0-0 
 7. Myerscough 0-0 
 8. Sheffield S. 2 0-0 
 9. Stoke-on-Trent K. 0-0 
 10. Sunderland 0-0 
 11. Wolverhampton 0-0 
 12. Worcester W.2 0-0 
 1. Cardiff City 0-0 
 2. Cardiff MA 0-0 
 3. East London 0-0 
 4. Essex B. 0-0 
 5. Greenwich T. 0-0 
 6. London Pride 0-0 
 7. Northants T. 0-0 
 8. Oxford 0-0 
 9. Solent II 0-0 
 10. Swindon 0-0 
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
  Avg: 21
 1. DiNunno, Cheshire.21.0 
 2. Fletcher, Newcastl.20.8 
 3. Sanders, Leeds F.19.3 
 4. Dixon, Plymouth R.18.9 
 5. Hassan, London L.18.6 
 6. Brown, Cheshire P.18.3 
 7. Grady, Plymouth R.18.2 
 8. Walker, Worceste.18.0 
 9. Parks, Newcastl.17.5 
 10. Cosby, Bristol AF17.1 
Rebounds Per Game
 Maurice WALKER
  Avg: 9.5
 1. Walker, Worceste.9.5 
 2. Wroblicky, Sheffiel.8.8 
 3. Hassan, London L.8.5 
 4. Marsden, Leeds F.8.3 
 5. Brown, Cheshire P.8.1 
 6. Williams, Surrey S.8.0 
 7. Achara, Glasgow .7.9 
 8. King, Leicester R.7.8 
 9. Rollins, Surrey S.7.7 
 10. Grady, Plymouth R.7.7 
Assists Per Game
  Avg: 6.7
 1. Fletcher, Newcastl.6.7 
 2. Taylor, London L.6.2 
 3. Klassen, Worceste.6.2 
 4. Wilcher, Cheshire P.6.0 
 5. Clark, Leicester R.5.8 
 6. Davis, Sheffield S.5.6 
 7. Ali, Bristol AF5.6 
 8. Carter, Plymouth.5.3 
 9. DiNunno, Cheshire.5.2 
 10. Sandoval, Leeds F.4.9 
Steals Per Game
  Avg: 2.9
 1. DiNunno, Cheshire.2.9 
 2. Taylor, London L.2.1 
 3. Ali, Bristol AF2.1 
 4. Nicholas, Plymouth R.2.1 
 5. Carter, Plymouth.2.1 
 6. Sandoval, Leeds F.1.9 
 7. Neighbour, Surrey S.1.9 
 8. Anderson, Cheshire.1.9 
 9. Bernardini, Leiceste.1.8 
 10. Kennedy, Worceste.1.6 
Blocks Per Game
 Kieron ACHARA
  Glasgow .
  Avg: 1.8
 1. Achara, Glasgow .1.8 
 2. May-Thompson, Cheshire.1.5 
 3. Webster, Manchest.1.4 
 4. Martin, Newcastl.1.1 
 5. Allen-Jordan, Cheshire.0.9 
 6. Grady, Plymouth R.0.9 
 7. Thomas, Glasgow .0.9 
 8. Smith, Bristol AF0.9 
 9. Dixon, Plymouth R.0.9 
 10. Brown, Cheshire P.0.8 

Paternostro Reflects On Great Win - Mar 22, 2013

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Leicester Riders Head Coach Rob Paternostro was a happy man after his side's huge win over reigning BBL Champions Newcastle Eagles on Wednesday night on their home court. The Riders who have only lost twice in the league all season took the W 80 - 69 in what was virtually a shoot-out for the BBL Championship crown.

The Eagles had made a blistering start to the game and midway through the first quarter had lead by as many as nine points. But The Riders have been remarkably consistent this year and a difficult side to shake off and they gradually found their rhythm and stride to turn the deficit around and in to a 10-point half-time lead.

The third quarter saw Newcastle show the reasons why they are a feared and champion standard side as they fought back tremendously to actually take the lead at one stage. But Paternostro rallied the troops, steadied the ship and released all guns to see his side superbly withstand the Eagles charge and come back stronger and with real commitment.

Leicester led by 2 points going in to the final stanza and turned the screw in the final ten minutes to ease out to a great victory against their closest rivals that all but mathematically confirms them as the 2013 BBL Champions baring some unforeseen set of circumstances.

However, Paternostro in typical fashion refused to start celebrating after the game or concede that the job was complete and his side could already be crowned.

"There's still seven games to go so I don't buy-in to the fact that it's done. We still have a lot of tough teams ahead of us to play. But it was a big game for us against them as it gives us the series head-to-head. This puts us four games ahead of Newcastle in the loss column bur with the series victory its more like five."

"'Because of that it was a big game and victory for us. We knew that we were going to have to play well and outside of the first five minutes of the game I thought that's exactly what we did."

The latest win completed a fabulous run for Leicester as they had to face virtually all the top teams in a short space of time. Riders won back to back games over Surrey Heat and Plymouth Raiders last weekend and achieved this despite being without key players in both games. Then to put the icing on the cake, Wednesday's win gave them a three-win week which puts them in pole position for glory.

"I told the guys about a week ago that if we are going to do this then we're really going to have to earn it. With the schedule being what it is and the amount of games that are coming at us we knew and know it was not going to be easy."

"But I've got a bunch of fighters. A bunch of guys that will do anything to win and there were guys playing tonight that were probably only about 50% who wanted to be in the game and play as they can do to get such an important victory."

The key to the Riders success this season has been their amazing lockdown defence and if ever the statement 'offence wins games but defence wins championships' has been proven as true its with this Leicester side.

"I've always had pretty good defensive teams since I've been at Leicester and know its importance but this year we've really focused in on it. Last season when we made the Championship play-off final our defence was very good but I thought we could and needed to get it even better."

"I saw that with good defence no matter how you're shooting you're going to be able to stay in the game. It's been a testament to that this season as there have been games where we've really struggled to shoot but we've stayed right there because of our defence and have managed to pull out crucial wins."

"It all starts with Drew Sullivan (203-F-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Villanova). He's one of the best defensive players to ever play in this league along with Fabulous Flournoy (192-G/F-73, college: McNeese St.) they're 1 and 1A there. His standards have set the bar and the rest of the guys have been committed to that standard since day 1."

"I'd like to give a mention to Jorge Calvo (190-G-87) because the kid is the unsung hero of the team. We talk about MVPs and we have a whole bunch of them. Sullivan I think is the MVP of the league but Calvo has been as important to our team as anybody."

Riders have the deepest roster in the league and Paternostro has faith in all his players and is not frightened to rotate them all and give minutes to any of them when he believes the time to be right. Paternostro believes this is another key ingredient of the Leicester success story.

"Last Sunday against a dangerous and tough Plymouth side we were without Zaire Taylor (193-G-86, college: Missouri) who has been huge for us and Connor Washington (184-PG-92) came in and gave us some excellent minutes and that shows that everybody's ready to go when needed."

"Even tonight with Yorick Williams (192-G-75) that showed. I didn't play him until late in the second half but his minutes in the first half were vital as he went in and competed well, playing his role and giving the other guys the breaks they needed."

"With the travel and the schedule we face I think its important that you have a bench you can rely on. We've been creative, not having the biggest budget in the world but weve worked with it and been really creative in putting the guys on the bench."

It's one thing though putting together a roster and another getting them to play together and commit to each other and the coach's philosophy.

"With good defence, good rebounding and a commitment to being together you can keep yourself in games where you have no business winning because of the way you're playing offensively. That's what we've tried to do and its down to the players."

"They're committed to it and we set the tone very early in the season and they've really been committed to it. This group's been a pleasure to coach. I've thoroughly enjoyed going to practice every day because everyone's been committed to one thing and that's winning."

The only blip on the Riders season was the surprise loss to Sheffield Sharks in the BBL Trophy Final which could ultimately cost Paternostro the opportunity to replicate the Eagles clean sweep of last season. It's a defeat that still rankles with Paternostro even though his team have bounced back superbly from that game.

"Sheffield played well in that game. They played as well as they have done all season and that can happen in finals. I didn't think we played great but we had the ball with a minute to go and we had two opportunities to win in a tight game and didn't take them whilst they took theirs."

"We could have played better, no question, but no-one hung their heads after that game. It's part of the deal and sometimes you come up a little bit short. I thought the Wednesday after when we played them in the league at their place we had worked out a few things offensively and we improved."

"That's the key to this long season whatever competition you're playing in you need to improve as the year goes on and if you don't youll be in trouble. We didn't go in to that game expecting to win, that was other peoples opinions, not ours. It was a final and they're always tough. But there's no way that this team will ever hang their heads. The energy in practice and in the games both before and since has been top-notch."

With the BBL Championship virtually sealed and the play-offs looming Paternostro has to ensure that his team remains focused on the rest of the season.

"Regardless of what we win or don't win this season this is a special group and I've loved every minute of coaching them. We've just got to keep going. Until we've clinched this league we're going to keep fighting and understand that nothing's finished."

"I think our guys understand that and until we finish that then we'll just keep fighting, keep going and doing what we do. Then when the play-offs come up you have to re-group and focus in on that aggregate system which is a little different but right now I'm really happy with the group and where were at."

Ominous words from a Coach that is as passionate about his team and organisation as he is about basketball in general and a coach that knows there is still work to do and things to address before he and his players can reflect on what they've achieved this season.  

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