Playing in the first ever game at Newcastle’s purpose-built Eagles Community Arena, combined with live coverage via the BBC Sport website would have been enough pressure to sink most franchises. Not only did Plymouth have to contend with these external forces, they also had to figure out how to win a basketball game on the road. Not an easy task, with the Raiders having previously recorded just one away victory for the entire 2018/2019 season.
The Eagles had already defeated the Raiders twice this season, with the most recent victory coming at the Pavilions just last week. Despite these seemingly insurmountable odds, your Plymouth Raiders produced a flawless performance to come away with a historic 91-86 win.
Josh Wilcher, Donte Nicholas and Rashad Hassan each played an integral role in orchestrating this incredible victory. Wilcher, who has excelled in his role as offensive general this season, dictated the tempo of the game with complete authority. Hassan provided a physicality that laid the foundation from which the offense could spring and Nicholas delighted Raiders fans with yet another sterling performance. Illinois native, Devontavius Payne, capped a memorable night with a clutch three late in the game to all but seal victory for the Raiders.
If this Raiders squad are able to replicate their all-round performance again on Sunday, they will undoubtedly reduce Cheshire to ashes from which no Phoenix will be able to rise.
Languishing in the mid table mire of the BBL, Cheshire are struggling to find any semblance of form, having lost two of their last three league games. Despite their perilous league position, Cheshire do boast an impressive stable of talent. Momcilo Latinovic is third in the league for three points made whilst Dii’Jon Allen-Jordan features in the league’s top ten for both two points and field goals made. This dangerous duo combined for 36 points in their heart-breaking overtime loss to the Manchester Giants on Friday and will have certainly caught the attention of Raiders Head Coach, Paul James.
With the Phoenix desperate to climb the table and Plymouth wanting to capitalise on their second away win of the season; it is sure to be another enthralling encounter in the BBL Championship this Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 17:30. Let’s go Raiders!
If you aren’t able to make the trip up north this weekend, you can keep up with all the news by following us on Twitter @officialraiders. Visit https://www.plymouthraiders.com/tickets/to get your ticket for the Raiders next home game, which will be against Glasgow Rocks on February 1st 2019.