After losing in last year's BBL Trophy final, Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders' centre Anthony Rowe (203-F-85, college: N.Georgia) is looking to finally even things up when his side face One Health Sharks Sheffield in Saturday's final.
The big man joined from UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders early in the season having lost in the both the BBL Cup and Trophy final with the West Country outfit, and having already won the Cup with Riders, Rowe can know firmly lay last season's ghosts to rest:
"For me it's great getting to another final, and I hope I can even things up after last year" he said. "It's something I've longed for. I've always wanted to be on a team that would compete in finals and be up there in the league. I did it last year with a different team, but now I'm with Riders, it feels right. We're a winning team, we deserve to be here and we're determined to take home another trophy."
Despite four Riders' victories in games between the two sides this year, Rowe isn't taking Sharks lightly: "We've played them four times and we've won pretty comfortably each time. It's one of those things where if we come in too complacent we could be the victim of an upset. We have to maintain focus and concentration, it's a cup final there's no tomorrow.
"They have some big time players and scorers if they're feeling extra good. You know it will really matter to them because it could make their season, and maybe they should be higher than eighth.
"No one guy has stood out for them against us, although BJ Holmes has had some good games since coming it. They're good down low with Demetrius Williams and Mike Tuck. Mike's been to finals and won, he won't be afraid to take the big shot."
The Riders faced two tough semi-finals against Worcester Wolves to reach Saturday's final, with Rowe and his team winning by seven points on aggregate and he admitted that the Wolves had been difficult opponents: "They were two really tough games. We had the game down in Worcester first and they're a big physical team. It was a real battle - there's no other way of putting it - and we were down for a spell but we kept fighting and took a nine point lead into the second leg.
"They gave us confidence, knowing we could beat them, but it was clearly desperation stakes for them and they came out all guns blazing. We had a ten point lead early in the game, but they kept coming back and they're such a good three point shooting team it's tough to put a game away.
"They closed the gap to four points at half-time and they did really well to beat us on the night."
Rowe admitted he had mixed feeling about losing the second leg: "We don't ever want to lose, but we had to play to the aggregate score in the final two minutes. If we'd gone for the win on the night, we'd have given them more time to get back into the tie. We needed to be smart and not let our price get in the way. It's unfortunate we lost, and our winning streak is over, but we're playing in a final on Saturday."
Eurobasket.com All-British EBL Division Two Awards 2013 - May 24, 2013
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Finals MVP: Karolis Stepanavicius (198-F) of Newham Nept.; Player of the Year: Matt Gwynne (6'10''-F/C) of Cary Invasion; Guard of the Year: Thomas Ward (183-PG) of Manchester M.; Forward of the Year: Karolis Stepanavicius (198-F) of Newham Nept.; Center of the Year: Matt Gwynne (6'10''-F/C) of Cary Invasion; Bosman Player of the Year: Karolis Stepanavicius (198-F) of Newham Nept.; Import Player of the Year: Matt Gwynne (6'10''-F/C) of Cary Invasion; Domestic Player of the Year: Thomas Ward (183 [read more]
Eurobasket.com All-British EBL Division Two 1st Team 2013
Leicester Riders continued with their team building for the 2013/14 season by re-signing 6 foot 8 inch forward Anthony Rowe (203-F-85, college: N.Georgia). The 27 years old Rowe was born in Plymouth and played for his home town club for 4 seasons, after graduating from US college North Georgia, before joining Riders early last season, after a season ending injury to centre John Fraley [read more]
Leicester Riders continued with their team building for the 2013/14 season by re-signing 6 foot 8 inch forward Anthony Rowe (203-F-85, college: N.Georgia). The 27 years old Rowe was born in Plymouth and played for his home town club for 4 seasons, after graduating from US college North Georgia, before joining Riders early last season, after a season ending injury to centre John Fraley.
Rowe knocked down nearly 12 points a game, and averaged nearly 7 rebounds and just over 1 assist per game, for the Jelson Homes DMU backed Riders, which helped Rowe pick up his first silverware in the BBL.
Rowe said, "I am absolutely ecstatic to come back with the Riders. I was really pleased with the way I was welcomed into the Riders team part way through the season, and Leicester has proved a great team, a great Club, and a great organization."
"Winning three trophies was well beyond my expectations, but well deserved, because this team put in a lot of hard work. I really always wanted to stay and defend those titles and keep that success coming to the city."
Rowe admitted coach Rob Paternostro was a factor in his decision, "Rob is a great coach, and good person, and was undoubtedly part of the reason I am here. He has total respect of his players, and I feel I have learned a lot and improved immensely throughout the season."
"And as a team, I think we can step up again. It is great we have already got a number of British players back. If you look at successful teams over a number of years in the BBL, keeping a solid group of good British players is a big factor, and I really like the way the Club is getting on and getting key players under contract early."
Riders Head Coach Rob Paternostro said, "Last season when Rowe arrived he fitted in really well, and proved his ability to adapt to what we were looking for quickly. Anthony can do a variety of things at both ends of the court, but most impressive is his hunger to win. He also brings a lot to the organization in terms of his outstanding work in the community."
"What I really like is, with Rowe's signing, we are building a core of young British talent in our team, when you add in Jamell Anderson and Connor Washington. These guys send a message to the younger players in our organization that if you buckle down, train hard, and listen and learn, there are openings in our team. And, of course, their signings give huge flexibility to our squad."
Leicester Riders took another step to rebuilding their championship winning team, by announcing the return of guard Jorge Calvo(190-G-87).
The 25 year old point guard, born in Ponferrada, Spain, was a huge hit with the Rider's fans last season, with his tenacious defence and in ability to run the offence, but also for his hugely engaging manner off the court. He was the first Spaniard to win a BBL Championship [read more]
Leicester Riders took another step to rebuilding their championship winning team, by announcing the return of guard Jorge Calvo (190-G-87).
The 25 year old point guard, born in Ponferrada, Spain, was a huge hit with the Rider's fans last season, with his tenacious defence and in ability to run the offence, but also for his hugely engaging manner off the court. He was the first Spaniard to win a BBL Championship.
Calvo was very keen to return to the Jelson Homes DMU backed Riders, "From very early on with the Riders, as I came to understand the great mix of players we had, I was really keen to make Leicester more than a one year stop. I believe this is a team that can get better, and I can get better with the team."
"Playing in the BBL is a different challenge to Spain, but I think it is helping to develop my game. I will be looking to do things a little different, add some things to what I bring to the Riders, but it is really working with my team-mates and coaches that will help make the difference."
"I was also excited to see that Drew Sullivan had re-signed, because he is such an important player in our team. He and Rob (Paternostro) our coach are what make the big difference to the team, so that just reinforced my keenness to come back."
Calvo thinks Riders will have it much tougher in the BBL next season, but is looking forward to the challenge, "For sure, teams are going to be gunning for Leicester, and it will be difficult. We set a standard this season, and other teams will be out to put one over on us. But I think the Riders can get better, and particularly if we can keep most of the squad together."
Paternostro was very excited to have Calvo back, "Jorge is hugely under-rated in my opinion. He handles himself extremely well, is a very smart player, and is very much a team guy. There are a lot of decisions to make in his position on the court, particularly in terms of getting other guys involved in the offence, and that is where Jorge excels."
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