Plymouth Raiders recorded their sixth league win of the season as they claimed victory against league newcomers London City Royals 84-77 at Pavilions on Sunday Afternoon.
The home side had a full strength side to choose from for a second game in a row and welcomed back former Raiders Will Neighbor and Elvisi Dusha to Plymouth after their moves to London Royals; the latter having worked with coach Paul James at Worcester last season too.
With both sides level on points in the table, this was set to be a tight affair and that’s how the first half played out, with the biggest lead in the half just six points.
Will Ohuaregbe’s towering presence caused trouble for Plymouth in the early stages of the game, with the centre’s work on the inside helping him rack up 11 first half points.
As for Plymouth, Joonas Jarvelainen has been out of the side for a while with a thumb injury, but this didn’t seem to phase him as he tucked away two stylish 3-point shots as well as going to work inside to rally his team into a 45-43 lead at half-time.
In the second half, Raiders looked to pull away from the visitors and their talisman Donte Nicholas went to work once again – his 19 points, 15 rebounds and 4 steals in the game pointed to a man that is on top of his game at the moment.
Royal’s scoring was spread throughout the team in the game but they didn’t seem to have a player to look to in the crucial moments in the game, as they scuppered opportunities and made careless mistakes.
The visitors made only 2/21 3-point attempts, and this lack of ruthlessness allowed the home side to open up a 14-point lead at the start of the final quarter of the game.
Plymouth survived a late scare, with Ashley Hamilton hitting 5 points after a technical foul was called, to secure the win and leapfrog their opponents in the table.
In the next round of fixtures London City Royals travel to Worcester Wolves and Plymouth Raiders welcome second-bottom Surrey Scorchers to Pavilions – both these fixtures on December 28th.
For tickets and more information – visit www.plymouthraiders.com