Cheshire Phoenix vs Leicester Riders – Preview

by Vlad Ionasc

Cheshire Phoenix will aim to snap their four-game losing streak and book their spot in the Semi-Final of the BBL Cup when they’ll take on the Leicester Riders at the Morningside Arena.

The Nix finished third in the ‘North’ group, with a 4-4 record, while the Riders finished second in the ‘South’ group with a 6-2 record.

The Riders reached the Semi-Final stage of the Cup last season, where they were knocked out by the eventual winners, the Newcastle Eagles. The Nix haven’t advanced past the Quarter-Final stage of the competition since the 2017-18 season, when they won the Cup by defeating the Worcester Wolves in the final.


Date: Saturday 13th November, 2021

Tip-off: 7:30 p.m.

Competition: BBL Cup Quarter-Final

Where: Morningside Arena

How to watch: BBL Player


Both of Leicester’s defeats in the group-stage of the Cup came at the Morningside Arena (84-85 vs. Flyers & 83-97 vs. Lions).

The Riders have triumphed in the last two encounters against the Nix, however Ben Thomas’ team has won three of the last five games against Leicester.

As a team, the Riders are shooting 47% from the floor, 42.2% from three-point range and 80.6% from the free-throw line.

Leicester’s offense (89.4 points-per-game) ranks second only to the Lions (90.3 points-per-game).

The Riders average the most makes from deep (10.9 three-pointers made per game) and the second most made free-throws (13 per game).

Rob Paternostro’s team led the way with 24.5 assists per game in the group-stage of the Cup. The Riders also averaged the most steals-per-game (11.3).

Geno Crandall led his team in scoring, with 16.4 points-per-game and also supplied the Riders with the most assists (7.6) per game. Crandall leads the league in steals (3.3 per game).

American forward Marc Loving is averaging 13.6 points-per-game on 52.5% shooting from behind the arc. Patrick Whelan (47.2%) and Conner Washington (41.9%) are also shooting above 40% from deep.

Mo Walker is Leicester’s top rebounder, with 6.8 boards per night.


Photo by Peter Simmons

Leicester Riders: Geno Crandall — The reigning MVP led the Riders in scoring and playmaking in the group-stage of the BBL Cup, with 16.4 points and 7.6 assists per game. Crandall also averaged more steals (3.3) than any other player and ranked third in rebounding, with 4.4 boards per game.

Cheshire Phoenix: Namon Wright — The former Rider will enter the building with the added motivation of playing against his former team. Wright will also be brimming with confidence following his 28-point performance in last night’s North West Derby.

Photo by Adam Day


Photo by Adam Day

Ben Thomas: “We’ve got a great opportunity to get in the Semi-Finals of the Cup tonight.

”It’s going to be a challenge as it always is when playing the Riders, but we have to put our recent league form to one side and really focus on the one and done game!”


The Nix are next in action at the EPSV against the Sheffield Sharks in the BBL Championship on the 21st of November, with tip-off scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tickets are now on sale!



Share this post