After a rocky fortnight, the Plymouth Raiders will look to return to the winning column this weekend, as they play away to the Worcester Wolves Friday, then at home against the Bristol Flyers Sunday.
Raiders were beaten soundly last time out by the second placed Glasgow Rocks, who enjoyed a complete sweep over the side, winning three times in the course of a month.
The bad news further escalated for the organisation after three of the sides key American prospects found themselves cut last Wednesday.
Kinu Rochford, Neil Watson and Jawad Adekoya were released by the Raiders after breaching the club’s strict performance and recreational drugs policy.
In an effort to fill the talent gap left by the three players, the Raiders announced the signing of 22-year-old guard, Eric Eaves, Thursday, a move that will improve the fox’s back court capabilities.
Captain, Zak Wells, was thankful for the off week after such a troubling start to February.
He said: “Yeah I think it was good for us just to have a weekend off to regroup.
“It was just good to get back, get back into a routine and just realise that a lot of people need to step up and get back on the floor and start competing again.”
Wells was also excited by the new signing of Eaves adding to the undermanned side, saying: “Obviously, we needed someone to replace Neil, he’s a good guy, he reads the game well and he can certainly score the ball, so I’m looking forward to seeing a bit more of him.”
The captain then added: “It’s tough, they were three great players we lost, but I think it’s exciting times for guys on our bench, it’s a great time for them to shine and step up and show us what they can do so there’s always a silver lining.”
Looking ahead to this weekend’s matchups, Wells was quick to identify speed as the main factor to watch, saying: “I think Worcester are a very talented team, they’re athletic and we’re going to have to play good basketball and keep our heads in the game.
“They’re very similar with Sundays game against Bristol, another very good athletic team who get out and run.
“Our defence is going to have to be top notch, we’ve got a big weekend ahead of us but we’ll be alright.”
The Worcester Wolves have enjoyed mixed success through the season so far, sitting mid table with 11 wins and nine loses. Despite the wins, the side is in the midst of a poor run of luck with injuries. George Beamon suffered a sprained ankle in an overtime loss to the Rocks, and joins the long-time injured, Dallin Bachynski, on the bench. The injuries leave the Wolves with a 6-man rotation, a factor which lead to their undoing last time out against the Flyers, as they were slowly degraded by a fresher line-up.
For Sundays near sold out matchup, the Raiders will fancy themselves against the Flyers who sit just two places above, a win that will be attainable despite the re jigged team. The Flyers also find themselves in action Friday night, and will be looking to win their third on the trot, momentum that’ll hopefully be dashed by the Play-off hopeful Scorchers.
Raiders currently find themselves behind on the season record, having lost two to the Flyers whilst winning just once.
Their last matchup between the sides came back on December 17th with a Flyer 71-88 win.
Head Coach, Gavin Love, will be looking for his sides remaining veterans to lead the sides younger players, if they hope to end the 17/18 season close to a .500 record.
See the pre game interview with Zac Wells on Raiders TV.
You can still purchase tickets for the game on Sunday online at www.ticketstore.co.uk or on the door at Pavilions for a 4pm tip-off although tickets are selling fast and the game is almost sold out.