Plymouth Raiders welcomed reigning champions Leicester Riders to the Pavilions on Sunday in need of a win, after losing Friday night’s away trip to the Sheffield Sharks 83-78.
The Riders visit to Plymouth came after two wins from their opening two games, and coach Rob Paternostro will have been confident going into this encounter.
The away team started off strongly. Leicester’s J.R Holder making the first seven points of the game, on his own, to put the Riders in front.
Plymouth battled back though. Brandon Penn was shooting well in the first quarter, and with good defensive work from Dylan Costelloe, Raiders were able to take the lead before the quarter’s end.Coach Gavin Love would’ve hoped his team could kick on after going into the second quarter in front, but Leicester showed what champions are made of.
Leicester’s full court press was forcing the Raiders to make tricky shots, and with the Riders converting their plays into points, it was starting to become harder and harder for Plymouth to keep in touch with their opponents.
The teams went into the half-time interval at 46-40, in favour of the visitors.
As the second half began, Plymouth offered resistance. But, the away side were able to penetrate the Raiders defence and began to stretch their lead.
Pierre Hampton showed the Riders weren’t all about attacking though. Dylan Costelloe won the ball from the former Raider and looked like he was going up for an easy two, only for the Sweden international to get back and swat the ball away, just as it looked destined to end up in the basket.
Neil Watson did his best to rally the Raiders throughout the game, top scoring with 25 points, and he is sure to become a fan favourite at the Pavilions.
With 28 points coming from the bench, against the Raiders 11, it was Leicester depth that proved to be a deciding factor in this game. The Raiders simply ran out of steam in the final quarter, with the final score 93-72, in favour of the visitors.
Raiders fans will hope that new signing Kinu Rochford, and the return of Joonas Järveläinen from injury, will be able to invigorate their team in the coming weeks.
Looking ahead, Leicester Riders welcome the Glasgow Rocks to the Leicester Arena on Friday night, while Plymouth Raiders visit Surrey Scorchers in the Cup on Sunday at 2pm.
Plymouth Raiders next home game is on November 5th, as they welcome the London Lions to the Pavilions.
|October 15, 2017||4:00 pm||BBL Championship||2017 - 2018|
|26 Bath St, Plymouth PL1 3LT, UK|
|5||Neil Watson||Point Guard||25||8||5||6||0||7||18||38.9||5||14||35.7||6||6||100.0||1||7||6||1|
|13||Louis Sayers||Small Forward||3||3||0||1||0||1||4||25.0||1||4||25.0||0||0||0||2||1||1||0|