Plymouth Raiders put to bed a losing start in the BBL with a 98-78 win against the Leeds Force on Sunday evening.
The score line flattered the Raiders who were going up against a Leeds team without a win in their first two games.
Plymouth made the first points of the game, Brandon Penn shooting well from behind the arc, a feature of the Raiders in the opening quarter.
Whilst Raiders were shooting well from behind the arc, the Force were finding joy in their opponent’s key. On numerous occasions in the opening exchanges Leeds were drawing fouls, which they were turning into points, to keep them in touch with the Greens.
Both sides were putting up good numbers in terms of scoring throughout the first half but it was the defending that was letting both teams down. Neil Watson began to heat up for Plymouth and was finding it easy to break through the Force’s defensive guard and get to the rim which allowed him to hit a sequence of simple twos.
Steady shooting allowed Leeds to keep in touch with Plymouth and the teams went into half-time with the score 47-42 in favour of the home side.
This was a game that was delicately poised and just when you thought one of the teams was about to pull away, the other team went on a scoring run of their own, certainly making this game one a neutral fan would’ve enjoyed.
Returning Raider Dylan Costelloe was introduced in the early stages of the second-half and his defensive work was key in enabling the Raiders to build a head of steam. The Irishman’s three second-half blocks showed a man who was out to make an impact in front to his new coach.
But, the key man in this win was the aforementioned Neil Watson.
Watson’s 38 points, including four three-pointers in the third quarter, was vital in the Raiders victory and he was a difference in what was the Raider’s first competitive victory under returning coach Gavin Love..
Leeds battled valiantly but it was the Raiders who ultimately came away with the points in this encounter.
Plymouth Raiders now face a trip to the EIS Sheffield arena to take on the Sheffield Sharks on Friday, before returning to the Pavilions on Sunday where they have their biggest test of the season so far, as they take on the Leicester Riders – tip off at 4pm.
Written by Blaine Sperring
|October 8, 2017||4:00 pm||BBL League||2017 - 2018|
|26 Bath St, Plymouth PL1 3LT, UK|
|5||Neil Watson||Point Guard||38||6||5||1||0||13||19||68.4||9||13||69.2||3||4||75.0||2||4||3||1|
|13||Louis Sayers||Small Forward||0||1||3||0||0||0||1||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0|