Plymouth Raider Drew Lasker calls for calm under BBL fire
MARJON Plymouth Raiders must stop panicking under pressure, says guard Drew Lasker.
Raiders let slip fourth quarter leads at London Lions and against Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Championship last weekend.
The defeats saw Raiders slide to 8-5 in fourth spot in this season's 12-strong league.
Leicester Riders, who are 12-1 and visit the Pavilions this Sunday (4pm), are setting the pace at the top.
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Raiders led by eight points before losing by four, 95-91 at Lions last Friday, and were leading by 10 and losing by three, 73-70 on Sunday against defending champions Eagles, who are 11-2.
Raiders had a chance to tie Sunday's game.
Love called a time-out with nine seconds remaining, but Raiders looked unsure coming out of the time-out and did not even get a shot off in the closing moments.
A lack of composure has been a key, recurring problem for Raiders this season.
Raiders' Lasker said: "It's definitely about execution because in the final stretch on Sunday we didn't get good shots off. We didn't run our offence.
"That's when we have to stay calm and run our sets and get a good shot off. If we miss, that's fine.
"At least we miss on a good set, but to be scrambling and chucking the ball up, we've got too many good players to put ourselves in that position."
Raiders led Eagles by as many as 11 points in Sunday's third quarter when they enjoyed their best spell, but couldn't knock their fierce rivals out and move decisively clear.
"Newcastle never panicked," said Lasker, who enjoyed a short spell with Eagles in 2010/11.
Raiders are shooting 33 per cent collectively from the three-point line this season, which isn't great, but nosedived to 3/17 (18 per cent) shooting from deep against Eagles.
A lot of those looks at the visitors' basket on the perimeter were wide open, but Raiders couldn't convert.
Lasker said: "We didn't execute when we needed to – that's the bottom line.
"We did everything else we needed to do to win – defensively we played with energy.
"But sometimes you can take fundamentals for granted because you're a professional and if you do, it will cost you in the end."
Raiders have gone 2-4 in their last six home games, which has been a reliable fortress in two previous seasons under coach Gavin Love.
From 2010-12 Raiders' record at the Pavilions was 33-7.
Lasker added: "There are no excuses and no scapegoats. This is solely on us as a team."