Newcastle Eagles game is huge for Leicester Riders' season says Paternostro

Rob Paternostro, coach of Leicester Riders
Rob Paternostro has been named BBL coach of the season for the last three years
BBL Championship: Leicester Riders v Newcastle Eagles
Coverage: Friday 15 February - Live on BBC Sport website and app, connected TV 19:25-21:30

Leicester Riders coach Rob Paternostro says his team's rivalry with Friday-night opponents Newcastle Eagles is still their biggest in the BBL.

The clubs dominated the BBL from 2011-2018, winning 23 of the 28 titles on offer in that period.

"Both teams have had injuries this season but at this point, it looks like they're both healthy and it should be a really good game," he told BBC Sport.

Riders stand second in the BBL table, one place ahead of the Eagles.

Although neither team has won either of the two titles decided so far this season, Paternostro believes that can change.

"The way I look at it is that until someone says it's over, it's not over - you just play it out," he said.

BBL top fourW-L
1. London Lions17-2
2. Leicester Riders16-4
3. Newcastle Eagles15-7
4. London City Royals12-7

"If you look at Newcastle and you look at our team, we have shown the ability to run off a lot of wins in a row. So both teams will just hope they can get on a hot streak to get back in position."

Riders, the reigning champions, and Eagles are are chasing league leaders London Lions, who won the Cup in January but lost the Trophy final to London Royals last weekend. Paternostro expects the Lions to bounce back.

"We've been in that situation too and we just moved on to the next game," he said. "London have done such a good job of winning games in different ways this year, they will be tough."

The Riders are set to face the Lions in the final game of the season in what could be a Championship decider.

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