They may have missed out on a chance of appearing in the inaugural Women’s Basketball League Trophy final, but Manchester-born Georgia Jones insists Leicester Riders’ semi-final defeat still demonstrated plenty of encouraging signs for the rest of the season.
The Riders were looking to make history as one of the first two sides to contest next month’s WBBL Trophy final when they played host to the City of Sheffield Hatters on Sunday.
Things got off to an encouraging start as they raced into a 13-4 lead inside three minutes, but they were unable to maintain the momentum as the visitors went into half-time with a narrow 40-37 advantage.
Jones herself would chip in with a total of 18 points alongside Riders top-scorer Maaja Bratka on 25, but the Hatters continued to turn the screw, eventually emerging 87-77 winners.
And while disappointed to come up short, Jones was quick to praise the efforts of the entire Leicester Riders team.
“It was a physical game but a good one. We were in the game until the third period. They managed to get on top and we just could catch them,” she said.
“We kept going to the end though. 40 minutes is a long time in basketball but I must praise the girls for giving it a good go until the end.
“We played for each other out there. That’s definitely a positive that we will take forward from the game.
“Credit to Sheffield, they are a good team and one of the best in our league. We matched them for periods of the game but there’s where we need to be as a team.”
The WBBL Trophy Final at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham will provide a historic first piece of silverware for the recently launched WBBL. For joint tickets for this event and the BBL Cup Final go to www.theticketfactory.com/bblcupfinal or call 0844338000.