Plymouth Raiders put on a brave showing in front of a home crowd on Friday night, but it wasn’t enough as they went out of the BBL Trophy at the hands of Leicester Riders, by a score of 90-83.
The Raiders had two debutants in Tre Bowman and Stefan Djukic, and with limited time to get the players integrated into the team, it was always going to be a tough task against the reigning champions.
The hosts started positively and had a 10-point lead at one stage in the first quarter, but this didn’t last long as Leicester quickly made up the arrears and by the end of the quarter they were only one-point down.
Leicester, as you’d expect, continued to make shot after shot but Plymouth were doing a great job in staying in touch with the BBL league leaders.
Although the 48-46 half-time score favoured Leicester, the home side could be pleased with their efforts in the first period of play and were in contention to cause one of the upsets of the season.
The third-quarter followed the same pattern as the first-half, as both teams went blow for blow, looking to try and pull away from each other.
It was Leicester that began to turn the screw, going into the fourth-quarter with a 5-point lead after some clinical 2-point shooting.
The fourth-quarter was where the tide completely turned in Leicester’s favour, as Plymouth gave away three turnovers in quick succession, allowing the Riders into a 13-point lead.
Plymouth did their best to try to get back into the game in the closing stages, but it was Riders who took the win and progress into the next round of the BBL Trophy.
Coach Love gave his thoughts after the game –
“I think we played a good game of basketball,” he said.
“We need to bring that every single game and if you see us play tonight then you think we should be doing better than we are.
“We are a young team, we are going to make mistakes now and then, but I thought everyone on the floor today did a good job.”
Raiders return to the Pavilions on Sunday when they host Cheshire Phoenix, 4:00 pm tip in the BBL Championship. Tickets for the game can be bought online from www.ticketstore.co.uk.
See the full interview with Gavin Love along with the thoughts of Neil Watson on Raiders TV.Full Game Stats & Highlights