Preview: Rocks v Raiders 10/2/13

Preview: Rocks v Raiders

The battle for a place in the top four of the BBL Championship continues at the Emirates Arena on Sunday as Glasgow Rocks host UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders.

The game is key for both teams, with Raiders sitting third in the table with a 14-6 record and Rocks two spots back despite having won the same number of games.

The game is also the head-to-head decider between the clubs, with the winner getting the advantage if they finish level at the season’s end. Home court advantage hasn’t really worked in the two games between the sides this season, with the road team winning on each occasion. Rocks returned from the West Country with a 97-84 victory in November, but Raiders certainly gained revenge in Glasgow five weeks ago with a 97-69 win.

Glasgow player-coach Sterling Davis expects a tough game when the Raiders arrive in Scotland: “They have been playing some pretty good basketball as of late. Mike Ojo has really found himself as their consistent threat. He has been putting up some big numbers.

“We did not play well at all in our last meeting. The out-worked us in that game and also shot the ball extremely well.”

Davis knows that getting the head-to-head win against Raiders in important: “Well right now it’s a big deal because of where we are placed in the standings but we want to get as many head-to-heads as we can.”

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 Colin O’Reilly and Matt Schneck – who can step up at any time.”

Gavin Love, the Raiders’ coach is expecting a closer game than the previous meeting: “The two previous encounters with the Rocks have been one sided affairs with the each team taking the points at the away venue. I know this will be an extremely tough assignment for us and we will be ready to go against an organised Glasgow side who have strengthened their team with the signing of Jamie Vanderbeken since we last met.

“EJ Harrison and Gareth Murray are always a big threat but really they have a similar team to use in that different players can step up on any given night.

“The head-to-head is only important if we tie in the league so I’m sure the only thing both teams are thinking about is securing the two points.”

Raiders’ forward Colin O’Reilly goes into the game needing seven defensive rebounds to chalk up his 500th in BBL Championship games.

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