After two weeks on the road, UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders play the first of a weekend home double-header when Glasgow Rocks are the visitors to Plymouth Pavilions on Saturday evening.
The game is a repeat of last season’s play-off quarter-final which saw Rocks overturn a five point deficit from the first leg in the West Country to win by 20 at home and progress to the final four. That win was revenge for a three-game Raiders’ sweep in regular season action, but it is Glasgow who hold a 19-11 lead in the all-time series between the two furthest-flung sides in the BBL.
Having split their games at Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders and Durham Wildcats last weekend, Raiders are now fifth in the BBL Championship table with five wins from seven games. Meanwhile Rocks’ home win against London Lions saw them move up to seventh spot with a 3-3 record, and they have games in hand over all of the teams above them.
Rocks’ player-coach Sterling Davis expects a tough game as his side play the first of back-to-back away games over the weekend: “They are again one of the deepest rosters this season as far as talent and league experience. They should definitely be there for title contention this year.
“Colin O’Reilly has really got off to a great start this season. I think he is as aggressive as he has ever been and it is really proving to be a key for them.”
The Rocks come into the game on the back of a strong fourth period performance against London Lions which saw them win by 13 points, and Davis had praise for guard Donald Robinson: “I thought Donald came in and gave us a game I expect from him. Not only was he able to put the ball in the basket but he really did a good job defensively. I can see an improvement in him with each game we play.”
Rocks’ guard/forward Andrew Wedemire also rates the Raiders highly: “I know they are a very good and well coached team. They have a lot of good players – especially Jeremy Bell, Colin O’Reilly and Matt Schneck – who can step up at any time.”
Wedemire was also pleased with that win against the Lions: “We played a good team game against the Lions which helped us seal the win. The players that stood out for me were Gareth [Murray], Keiron [Achara] and EJ [Harrison].”