Plymouth Raiders outworked and outclassed by defending BBL champs Newcastle Eagles
MARJON Plymouth Raiders were reminded How far they have to go if they want to seriously challenge in this season's BBL play-offs in April.
They fell heavily by 17 points, 96-79 to defending champions Newcastle Eagles at the Pavilions.
Raiders slip to 15-8 in fourth spot in the BBL Championship as a result, but remain only a game back from Glasgow Rocks, who are 16-8 and third.
Raiders have never finished higher third at the end of the regular season, but if they are to legitimately contend in the play-offs they have a lot of ground to make up.
Eagles outworked and then outclassed Raiders, and led dominantly by as many as 22 points, 89-67 in the middle of the fourth quarter.
Raiders slashed the deficit to 12, 91-79 with a 12-2 rally, but the impact on the final scoreline was purely cosmetic.
Raiders centre Matt Schneck put it simply afterwards and said: "The difference right now between us and a top team is 17 points.
"We just have to continue to work on trying to close that gap. Hopefully we can, but that's where we are right now."
FULL REACTION, STATS AND PICTURES IN MONDAY'S HERALD