Plymouth Marjon edge closer to a place in the play-offs
PLYMOUTH Marjon took a step nearer to a place in the English Basketball League play-offs with a crucial 83-78 away victory at Hackney White Heat.
The result actually sees Marjon drop one place in men's Division Three South, because Wolverhampton, who have played more games than Plymouth, move into third place.
But with three matches left, the city side are where they need to be to qualify for the post regular season competition – in the division's top four.
Head coach Matt Hatchell was delighted with his team's performance throughout their 83-78 win, especially as they had arrived at their South Bank University venue with only 15 minutes until tip-off.
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Hatchell said: "It was a new court for us and we couldn't find it and what with the London traffic, we arrived with 15 minutes to go.
"It seemed to work for us, though, as I don't think we've ever won in Hackney before.
"It's a difficult place to go, because Hackney try and impose a physical game on you."
Marjon started well, drawing the first quarter 20-20, but they fell away in the second, going down 21-16.
However, the city team recovered in the third and pegged back their hosts 21-14.
Marjon closed out the match in the fourth, taking the quarter 26-23.
Hatchell admitted: "We had a bad second quarter, but it could have been worse as at one stage we were down by double figures, although we managed to score the last six points.
"We are notoriously poor in the third, but we had a talk about it at half-time, because if you have a bad two minutes, they (Hackney) could have opened up on us."
Mark Gillbard top-scored for the visitors with 25 points, Jamie Davies played a captain's role with 22 and new signing Steven Gordon, who joined the club in January, added 15.
The win gave Marjon a five-game streak of victories and Hatchell said: "It still grates on me that we lost at (bottom club) Ealing earlier in the season, which in fact was our last loss.
"Had we won that, we would have been at the top of the league now.
"But our win at Hackney has left us in a good position.
"It's always difficult to get something in London, but we have London Greenhouse away next week and if we can get a win against them, we will be in a very good position indeed."