Preview: Benecos BBL Playoffs Semi-Final vs Plymouth Raiders

Category: News
Author: RidersMedia
Date: 7th May, 2019

After defeating the Cheshire Phoenix in the Quarter Finals the Leicester Riders face the 8thseeded Plymouth Raiders in the Semi Finals.

The Riders took the season series over the Raiders 3-0 however after defeating the BBL Champions the London Lions in Quarter Finals confidence will be high in the Raiders camp.

CLICK HERE to buy tickets for the second leg.

Away Leg: 8/5/19, 7:30PM Tip @ Plymouth Pavillions

Home Leg: 12/5/19, 6:00PM Tip @ Morningside Arena

About the Raiders

The Raiders are led by Leicester born and former Rider Paul James as Head Coach, who joined in the summer, and has one of the most impressive CVs in the BBL.

They rely on a core of experienced players including the back-court of point guard Josh Wilcher, who averages 34 minutes per game, and MVP candidate American Donte Nicholas, who averages 37 minutes per game.

Ex-Rider Rashad Hassan led the BBL in scoring at over 20 points per game, and averages 30 minutes per game, and American guard Devontavius Payne averages 12 points per game, and 27 minutes.

Support comes from captain Zak Wells, a 7 foot centre, and the experienced Estonian forward Joonas Jarvelainen, guards Denzel Ubiaro, Jawad Adekoya, and Tola Okiki, and small forward Shawn Shelton.

Head to Head

The Leicester Riders and Plymouth Raiders have met three times previously this season all in the BBL Championship with the Riders taking the W on all three occasions.

They first met on November 23rdat the Morningside Arena where the Leicester riders ran out victorious 86-77 behind a season high 27 points from JR Holder.

The 2 teams then met again at the Morningside Arena on January 19th, the Riders took this one 88-82 as Pierre Hampton and JR Holder both posted 19 points to seal the season Head to Head.

The final match up of the season came on February 10that the Plymouth Pavillions. On this occasion the Riders produced an impressive comeback win 90-87 behind a huge 34 points from a newly signed Tim Williams.

Form Guide

The Raiders finished the regular season winning 4 of their final 6 regular season games, including a huge 105-103 away win at London City Royals, to clinch eighth spot in the table. They lost their first leg in the playoffs versus London Lions 97-91 at home, but then caused a shock with an 86-72 win last Monday at the Copper Box. It was the first time an eighth seed knocked out a number one seed since the Riders won the playoffs in 2001 after finishing eighth.

Riders finished the regular season in good form, winning six of seven, and knocked out Cheshire Phoenix in the Playoffs quarter-finals 70-62 and 71-68.

The teams have met three times this season with Riders winning all three. Riders won 86-77 at home in November, and again 88-82 in January, and squeezed out a narrow 90-87 win in Plymouth in February.

Players to Watch

Raiders Donte Nicholas has had an extraordinary season, finishing 6th best in the BBL in scoring, with an average of 18 points per game, third best in rebounds, at 9.8 per game, second best in assists at 7.4 per game, and best the BBL in steals at 2.3 per game.

For Leicester, Tim Williams was the man for the moment in the playoff quarter-finals against Cheshire scoring 42 points, on 18 of 25 shooting, along with 10 rebounds over 2 legs.

Buy Tickets

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for the second leg and support the Leicester Riders as they aim to defend their Benecos BBL Playoff Title.

Subscribe To Our Riders Newsletter