LEICESTER RIDERSAfter an historic treble-winning season, it was no surprise that Leicester Riders were quick to retain the bulk of their squad that propelled them to glory last year. Pavol Lošonsky however, was not one of those players after being left underwhelmed by the offer he received in the summer.

The Slovakian international was intent on coming back for another season with the Riders but also revealed how he came close to joining another BBL side.

After averaging 13ppg along with 6 rebounds in the league last year, the 6’8″ forward naturally attracted interest from a number of teams- most significantly Manchester Giants and was on the verge of joining the BBL side before they suddenly went cold on the deal. Despite his patience, LoÅ¡onsky was left in limbo as the move failed to materialise.

Explaining the situation, he said: “The coach of Giants emailed me saying that they were very interested in bringing me to Manchester. I was willing to take (the offer) and help Giants to achieve their goals. (We) came to the verbal agreement and everything seemed to be set up.”

“I was waiting for them to send me a plane ticket. It never happened. I tried to reach them few times, they gave me some silly excuses and explanations, so I waited more. After two-three weeks of waiting, I assumed they were not serious about bringing me for whatever reason, so I can only wish them good luck, and I will definitely remember this situation for the future.”

The opportunity arose after LoÅ¡onsky released his agent and it had become clear that he wouldn’t be rejoining the Riders. The 25 year-old looks back on fond memories and would have committed to another year had the offer matched his valuation.

He said: “I really loved Leicester and I wanted to come back, but was pretty disappointed with the offer I got. The general manager was trying to bring everyone back, and was trying to sign us early, and I would have signed in May only if the offer was at least close to what I wanted.”

LoÅ¡onsky embedded himself into the club’s history books after helping the Riders claim their first-ever BBL Championship as well as the Cup and Play-Off successes. Leicester finished the season with a 30-3 record with a perfect fifteen wins at home throughout the campaign.

“I loved every minute being a Rider,” he said.

“I loved my teammates and coach Paternostro has definitely been one of my best coaches so far. Winning games and trophies just added to the great atmosphere our fans created for us. (The) quality of the league was good, top 5-6 teams very close and every team could beat the other on the given night.”

And, LoÅ¡onsky is not ruling out a return to the league one day stating that he ‘would definitely consider coming back if an interesting offer comes up’. But for now, his prime focus is on the current season having returned to his homeland to play for Extraliga side Nitra.

“I am trying to pass the individual and team spirit on to my current team and win some trophies this season as well. I will see what happens after the season is over.”

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