Old rivals Guildford Heat and Plymouth Raiders meet at Surrey Sports Park on Sunday afternoon in a key game for both teams.
The Raiders go into the weekend’s action which also sees them host leaders Newcastle Eagles sitting in fourth spot with an 11-3 record and can be considered serious contenders for the title, while Heat are looking for a place in the play-offs and are currently ninth with five wins from 17 games.
The sides have already met three times this season with Raiders coming out on top on each occasion. The two BBL Trophy meetings saw Plymouth win by four points on each occasion, but the BBL Championship meeting last month saw the West Country side stroll to a 98-68 victory.
With that in mind, Heat’s veteran guard/forward Julius Joseph knows his side face a tough test against the Raiders: “They’re a great team playing great basketball so it’s a good challenge for us and there’s no excuse for anyone not coming out and giving 110 percent effort
Heat coach Creon Raftopoulos also appreciates the size of the task facing his team: “Raiders are having a great season and Gavin has done a great job keeping them in contention to win the silverware still up for grabs. They a super talented group who have accepted their roles and play Gavin’s system well. They are also a group who never know when they beaten and that never die attitude has seen them rescue many games this season. We know every game is important, especially our home games to keep pace with pack fighting for a play-off position.
“Jeremy Bell the reigning MVP is always top of any scouting report, a scoring point guard that can score in many ways. They’re a deep team and players coming off the bench have been key in changing the game when the starters are not getting it done. Anthony Martin increases the tempo of the game and allows Bell to play shooting guard and [Michael] Ojo is a high percentage three-point shooter who spreads the floor for their strong post players to go to work in the paint.”