- National Teams
Leicester Riders will host established European teams from Spain and Belgium in a pre-season tournament at Loughborough University on September 19th-21st.
Obradoiro CAB – also known as Rio Natura Monbus for sponsorship reasons – compete in Liga Endesa, which is the Spanish top division, while Okapi Aalstar will be playing in this season’s EuroChallenge after finishing as runners-up in the Belgian Ethias League playoffs.
The tournament takes place just a week before the new BBL season gets underway and will feature three matches over the course of three days. Leicester take on Obradoiro CAB on Friday night before concluding proceedings against Okapi Aalstar on Sunday with the all-European clash sandwiched in-between on the Saturday.
Riders head-coach Rob Paternostro, who recently penned a new four-year contract extension, was thrilled with the announcement.
“We are absolutely delighted to bring top European basketball to Leicestershire,” he stated. “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.”
Obradoiro’s General Manager Jose Luis Mateo also expressed his excitement at his club’s participation in the event.
He said: “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. Leicester Riders is a up and coming organization, with a lot of passion and that is doing the things very well and with a clear vision.”
The BBL Cup winners for the past two seasons, also take on a USA Select Team prior to their inaugural tournament and tickets for all pre-season fixtures are on sale here.