The Plymouth Raiders will return home to lick their wounds this Sunday, as the side plays host to BBL championship leaders, Leicester Riders.
The game will be a towering task for the Raiders, as the visitors have lost only three games in their campaign so far, and outscore in almost every key statistical column.
Wednesday night saw the Raiders travel east to play another strong team in the Lions, who showed their class and dominated for most of the game.
If it wasn’t for a spirited second half, more specifically, fourth quarter, the Raiders could have realistically faced at least a twenty-point loss, but instead the side found its rhythm and strung together 32 points to end the game within 10, 93-84.
Head coach, Gavin Love, put his sides offensive troubles down to poor ball control, with his players spending too much time in possession, rather than trying to work around defences.
Fresh off their return trip home, small forward, Louis Sayers, agreed with his coach’s observations, but felt his teammates began to heat up at the end of the last game. He said:
“When we move the ball and it doesn’t stick in players hands, we drive, we kick and get those open shots we’re more likely to get.”
Sayers believed that if the offence could continue the way they closed out the Lions, they would be able to match the strength of the Riders. He said:
“Yeah I think we can keep up with Leicester. In the fourth quarter of yesterday’s game, we managed to get a bit of a run going, managed to move the ball a lot better, which allowed us to play better offensively.”
Sayers also seemed to be undaunted by his opponent’s season record, adding:
“We respect them obviously, they’ve always been a good team in this league, but as long as we continue to move the ball like we did in that fourth quarter, we’re not too concerned, we’ll just play our basketball.”
Whilst the Raiders form has been forgettable on the road, their home court has been just about the only place they’ve been able to pull out wins this season. Sayers recognised this advantage. He said:
“At the Pavilions we have a huge homecourt advantage, it’s probably one of the best in the league.
It’s a difficult environment to come into, but also it’s a long way to travel for a lot of teams.”
The Riders come into Plymouth with a hot hand, winning four of their last five outings. The side will be further spurred to win after they suffered a loss to the Lions last week, and will see the lowly Raiders as a perfect opportunity to rebound.
With a spot in the playoffs already secured, it remains to be seen if the side will rest key starters and rely more on their bench, or if they’ll continue to charge on toward the first seed.
The Raiders, on the other hand, find themselves third from bottom, and continue to play for pride and their loyal fans down the home stretch.
Tickets for Sundays game can be bought online at www.ticketstore.co.uk.