leicester title 13 568Leicester Riders coach Rob Paternostro hopes familiarity might breed contempt when his side meet Newcastle Eagles on Sunday for the BBL play-off title.

The Midlands outfit are chasing a treble at Wembley, having already clinched the league and Cup this term. Yet after beating Newcastle four times in a row, Paternostro claims he has no new tricks up his sleeve for the season finale.

“At this stage, both teams know each other very well,” he said. “It really comes down to who makes the plays on the day. I don’t think this is a game where you sit in the lab and then come up with a wacky experiment for the final.”

The success of Leicester has solidified Paternostro’s status as the most promising coach in Britain, with his eye for raw talent sparking interest from clubs in mainland Europe, south America and elsewhere since he began his coaching career five years ago.

He is, however, in no hurry to end his apprenticeship and chase a bigger offer.

“In this business, you always have to pay attention to that,” he admits. “But my focus has been on the Riders. I not only enjoy coaching here but also living here. What sometimes people don’t understand is there is life outside basketball as well.”

The showpiece offers Newcastle one last chance to salvage some silverware after a disappointing campaign, with Paternostro expecting the Eagles to fight to retain the lone prize they still hold. “It should be a great game because Newcastle and us have separated ourselves from everyone else this season,” he said.

Pic: Ville

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