Soul-searching key for Plymouth Raiders
Marjon Plymouth Raiders got back on track after some behind-closed-doors soul-searching, says Matt Schneck.
Raiders knocked Leicester Riders off top spot in the BBL Championship with a deserved 86-82 upset at the Pavilions.
It was Raiders’ best result of the season at home following their worst run on their own court since April 2010.
Raiders had gone 2-4 in their six home games prior to Sunday.
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Raiders’ starting centre Schneck said of the preparation for the win over Riders: “It was an evaluation week really.
“We watched a lot of game-tape and had to work a few things out – but it was good. We’re all adults.
“We need to come out and do our jobs week-in, week-out. Sunday was a good example of what we can do when we play together.”
Raiders have, uncharacteristically, lacked energy and execution at the Pavilions in 2012/13, which has seen them open with an indifferent 9-5 record in the league.
Defending champions Newcastle Eagles now set the pace at the top of the standings and are 13-2. Riders are 12-2 in second position.
Raiders boss Gavin Love said of Sunday: “It was just one win, but it’s always sweet to beat the top team.
“We’ve talked about and tried to drum into guys that every possession counts. We haven’t valued the basketball at important times this season.
“On Sunday we did and I was happy, and happy for the guys. They deserved the win.”
Raiders made the crucial break against Riders with a 13-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter.
Raiders, in contrast to their disappointing losses at home this season, were aggressive on defence and clinical in attack during the pivotal spell.
Love, whose team had lost their last two games heading into Sunday, said: “It’s always tough when you lose a couple, but you stay together and Sunday was good.
“We’ve lost games this season because we’ve been inconsistent.
“You have to that killer instinct.
“I’m not saying we had it on Sunday, because we could’ve opened the game up and won by more, but we’re certainly improving in that area.”
It was encouraging to enjoy a full house at the Pavilions against Riders, which created a great and tense atmosphere throughout a compelling contest.
“It was an exciting game going against a tough Leicester team full of talent,” said Schneck, Raiders’ and the BBL’s leading rebounder this season.
“It was a good example of how much fun it is to watch basketball and good to see the Pavilions packed.
“We love our support. It really helps us. They’re our sixth-man.”
Raiders are back in league action tomorrow when they visit 0-14 minnows Mersey Tigers (7.30pm).
Raiders’ only game over Christmas and New Year is a big one at 8-7 and fast-improving Worcester Wolves on Friday, December 28 in the BBL Trophy quarter-finals.
Raiders then do not play until Sunday, January 6 and a league trip to 7-6 Glasgow Rocks.
PLYMOUTH Marjon are looking forward to three weeks off over Christmas and New Year.
Matt Hatchell’s team are 6-2 in Division Three South of the EBL after signing off for 2012 with a win and a loss on the road last weekend.
Marjon let slip a narrow, 46-44 lead after three quarters at now 9-2 leaders Ipswich, who controlled the fourth 27-15, in a 71-62 defeat last Saturday.
Marjon rebounded strongly in a 98-70 win at 0-8 Northants.