ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Derrick Rowland returned to the Albany Patroons prior to this season. In his last season with the team before his return, he led the Patroons to the TBL title in 2019. This season, Mr. Patroon has built another contender.

The Patroons begin the TBL Eastern Conference Finals on Friday in Newfoundland against the Newfoundland Rogues. The best of three series tips off at 5:30 PM.

Albany is looking to return to the TBL championship series, after falling in the title series under head coach Will Brown last year. The team that went 20-4 this season is a completely different team from last year’s squad. Guard Trevis Wyche is the only returner.

While the team’s talent shines on the court, Rowland believes it’s their camaraderie off the court that makes this team special. “One of the things that has helped me this year as a coach is I recruited character,” Rowland said. “We have a lot of character guys. Everybody gets along. Everybody’s coachable. Everybody works hard and that’s what makes it so much easier to succeed as a group.”