With just two games left in the regular season the Raiders find themselves in seventh place, two points ahead of their closest rivals, Manchester Giants. In ninth place are this weekend’s visitors, Bristol Flyers, who must beat the Raiders if they are to have any chance of securing a play-off spot.
The Raiders have been enjoying a resurgence in recent weeks with huge wins against London City Royals and Worcester Wolves. Despite a close midweek loss to the league leaders, London Lions, the South-West side are still on course for post-season action.
Donte Nicholas has spearheaded the Raiders recent surge and was the stand out player once again in their defeat to London Lions. Leading the scoring with 29 points, Nicholas also contributed 20 rebounds and seven assists. Another player who has been crucial in Plymouth’s upturn in form is Rashad Hassan. Having led the league in average points scored for the majority of the season, Hassan was able to prove his dominance once again by draining a total of 60 points in his last three games. The 6’8 forward has been indispensable to the Raiders this season and will be looking to add to his points tally with another haul against Bristol. Joonas Järveläinen and Devontavius Payne are two players who have prospered in conjunction with the team recently and could be key if Plymouth are to topple their South-West rivals.
The Flyers have won both previous games against the Raiders this season and in each game, Jalan McCloud and Justin Gray have topped the scoring. McCloud leads his sides in assists with 3.78 and is averaging 15.3 points per game. Bristol’s leading scorer this season is Fred Thomas, making him the player to watch this Sunday. Thomas has utilised his athletic prowess and physical presence to dominate defences all season and the 6’5 guard currently averages an impressive 16.24 points per game.
With the Raiders looking to cement their play-off status and avoid a season sweep against the Flyers, it is sure to be an intense spectacle at the Pavilions this weekend. Make sure you support your city and get your ticket at www.plymouthraiders.com/tickets. If you can’t make it to this weekend’s game then you can follow @officialraiders on Twitter to keep up with all the latest news. Tip off is at 3.00 p.m on Sunday.
Let’s go Raiders!