Plymouth Raiders vs Manchester Giants – Preview

After their crucial road win in Manchester, Plymouth Raiders return to the pavilions this Sunday to face the Giants for the second time in just seven days.  

Devontavius Payne was undoubtedly the star of the show in Manchester, scoring 22 points in an inspired performance that saw the Raiders leapfrog their opponents into seventh place.  Payne was outstanding, shooting with a new found confidence and driving relentlessly at the Giants defence.  With a 60% shooting accuracy from three point range, Raiders fans will be encouraged by ‘Uno’s’ form as we enter the final stretch.  

Since their victory last weekend, Plymouth have been usurped by Cheshire Phoenix who now occupy seventh place.  The Raiders currently lie in eighth place, the last available slot for those with play-off ambitions.

A win on Sunday would not only mark a 3-0 sweep against the Giants, it would also permit the Raiders some crucial breathing space with just six games to go.  In order to complete this whitewash, Plymouth will need to find a way to subdue the dangerous duo of Ingus Bankevics and Mike McCall Jr.  Bankevics led the Giants last Sunday with an impressive 21 points whilst McCall Jr racked up 15 with 10 assists.  On the defensive side of the ball, Willie Clayton has been leading the way for Manchester, topping the league in average defensive and total rebounds.   

Despite the positive result last weekend, the Raiders must guard against complacency with the Giants looming in their rear view.  When asked about the intricacies of playing the same opponent two weeks in a row, Raiders Head Coach Paul James had this to say;

“We don’t want to be complacent, that’s for sure.  We’ve just got to go out there and play as hard as we did, if not harder, being at home.”

“We want to go out there and execute our offensive plan and especially the defensive one.  We want to take care of the boards and the basketball and hopefully come away with another win.”  

Alongside ‘Uno’, the Raiders will be looking to their three-peat attack of Josh Wilcher, Donte Nicholas and Rashad Hassan to rack up the points this weekend.  This triple-threat offensive juggernaut combined for 60 points against the Giants last time out and will be itching to complete the demolition job on Sunday.      

If you want to support the Raiders in their race for the play-offs, you can get your ticket at www.plymouthraiders.com/tickets.  Tip off is at 3 p.m.  If you aren’t able to make it, you can follow the fox on Twitter @officialraiders to keep up with all the latest results and news.  Our next home game is on April 14th against Worcester Wolves.  

Let’s go Raiders! 

Josh Lines