WORCESTER Wolves’ new head coach Matt Newby declared his satisfaction with his players’ efforts after a pre-season encounter against Leicester Riders at the University of Worcester Arena.

Despite losing 75-54 to the 2018-19 British Basketball League play-off winners, Newby played down the importance of the defeat, saying: “While you never want to lose I can’t fault the players’ effort.

“We matched Leicester for possessions but they finished more of their chances. We played well in spells but became fatigued as the game went on.

"We don’t yet have the legs we need and will continue to work on managing bodies.”

A couple of baskets for Raheem May-Thompson set the Wolves’ side of the scoreboard ticking.

American guard Cortez Edwards was the only other Worcester player to convert in a first quarter dominated by Leicester.

A pull up jump-shot from Dutch playmaker Maarten Bouwknecht reduced Riders’ lead to 24-11 as the second period began.

By the time Edwards rebounded and put back his own miss, Leicester’s advantage had sunk to 29-26.

A debut score for Mark Hughes whittled the Wolves’ deficit down to a single point.

But this would be as close as it got for the hosts. A Riders’ 38-30 half-time lead grew to 54-45 entering the last 10 minutes.

Long scoreless stretches meant there would be no Worcester comeback.

Seven points for Edwards were the sole final-quarter return from the field as Leicester finalised their 75-54 success.

Edwards led the scoring with 19 points as well as pulling down nine rebounds.

May-Thompson with 16 points was Wolves’ only other double-digit scorer.

Wolves complete their programme of pre-season friendlies against Bristol Flyers at the University of Worcester Arena on Monday (7.30pm).

The official action will commence on Friday when London Lions visit the city for a BBL Cup meeting (7.30pm).

“Kofi Josephs had to miss out on Friday night with an ankle injury,” added Newby.

“We’ll see how things look for him and also put work in ahead of our friendly against Bristol and then our season-opener on Friday."