Preview: Rocks @ Riders

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Rashad Hassan and the Leicester Riders are ready for a Glasgow Rocks response on Saturday, following the Scottish club’s BBL Trophy Final defeat last weekend.

Rocks were edged out by Worcester Wolves on their home floor in Sunday’s final while Riders extended their winning run to four games with victories over Birmingham Knights and Cheshire Phoenix.

Hassan anticipates a reaction from Rocks at John Sandford Centre on Saturday, but insists Riders will be up to the challenge.

“We expect for them to be fired up to play against us Saturday,” said Hassan.

“They’re coming off a tough loss but I know they’ll try their best to bounce back with a win against us so we have to make sure we play with our best effort for 40 minutes.”

Riders themselves have responded well after an up-and-down sequence followed their BBL Cup success in January.

Four straight wins have assured them of a top-four berth but they can no longer retain their Championship title.

Crucial Play-off positioning is still to be decided however, and Riders will have to be at their physical best if they are to celebrate what will be coach Rob Paternostro’s 250th game in charge with a win against Glasgow.

Hassan added: “They have good chemistry and they play hard for 40 minutes.

“They’re also very physical so we’re going to have to go into that game with a tough mindset or else it will be a long night.”

Last time they met:

Glasgow Rocks 60 Leicester Riders 70 (BBL Championship, Emirates Arena, 29/12/2013)

What they say:

Rocks coach Sterling Davis: “Leicester really do a good job of controlling the tempo of games. Rarely are they in high-scoring affairs so we have to make sure every possession counts.”

Riders coach Rob Paternostro: “I was very happy with how we played this past weekend.

“Defensively we were solid for eight quarters, and what I like about our team is that we have been able to play different defences and still be effective.

“We have a young team that continues to improve, I am really enjoying working with our guys and we are excited for the rest of the season.”

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