Leicester Riders Head Coach Krumesh Patel was overjoyed to bring a first ever piece of WBBL silverware back to Leicester as his team won the WBBL Betty Codona Trophy Final. Speaking after the game, he said:
“I’ve been with programme for five years and we’ve always just missed out here and there, so to get it right now with this group is incredible. Words can’t describe how happy we are. This was a group effort, we rallied together, trusted in each other, and today was a team performance.”
Riders set up the win with a dominant first half in which Kate Oliver scored 20 points to earn MVP honours, but they needed crucial three-pointers from Dee Hayward and Holly Winterburn to secure it.
“We’ve been playing this way all year”, said Patel, “and they just brought it into the final. We like to start fast and the team just kept buying into it.
“All year, in different games different people step up. Today, Kate stepped up, Dee stepped up, Holly stepped up. Also Sarah (Round) stepped up and Megan (Jones) came into the game late on. We play through all ten, and they trust in that and want everyone to play through it.”
The win follows the success of Riders’ men’s team, who have just won their third consecutive BBL Championship title. Patel praised the organisation for the parity between the two teams:
“The club have supported us all the way through. The club make sure that they push and support the women as much as the men, and this is a reward back for the club. This is something we want to keep growing – we’ve made a start, by getting our first silverware, but we want to keep pushing.”