Plymouth Raiders coach Gavin Love has spoken positively about his team’s chances of success as they face two matches in the space of three days this weekend.
First up, Plymouth are at home to the Cheshire Jets in front of the Sky Sports cameras, before the first-leg of the BBL Trophy Final against the Newcastle Eagles on Sunday.
Going into these two games, Plymouth have won their last four matches and Love believes his team are in good spirits right now.
Speaking exclusively to bblfans.com, he said: “I think we are doing well. We had a poor weekend with a couple of losses three or four weeks ago and we learnt a lot from that.”
“We regained some focus and some energy and have taken this into the last four or five games, so we are happy, especially as three of those games have been on the road.”
As for Friday’s clash with Cheshire – who sit six places and 18 points behind Plymouth going into this one – Love has called on his team to be focused against a tough Jets team.
“For me, you have to ignore Cheshire’s record because they have one of the toughest starting fives in the BBL. They read the court as good as anybody and they have a desire to win. I really respect those guys and it will be a tough match-up for us.”
As for Sunday’s BBL Trophy Final first-leg against current league leaders Newcastle, Love is excited about the prospect of taking on the team they managed to defeat in the BBL earlier this month.
Referring to Sunday’s final, he said: “I know that if we start well and we compete with them the level we have done the last two games, it is going to be a fantastic final.”
“As long as the officials let both teams play, it’s going to be great for the fans and a great advertisement for the BBL. It is going to be a good contest between two tough teams.”
Love then revealed that, despite the massive game on Sunday, he is preparing his team as normal and is refusing to think too much about the Newcastle game until after the contest with Cheshire on Friday.
“Every single game is huge. One loss is the difference between 1st and 2nd or 2nd and 3rd, so we treat every game the same. The players themselves will perhaps be extra motivated for a trophy final and it is great that the fans are going to see half of it.”
“We prepare pretty much the same and we can’t ignore the fact that we have got a game on Friday as well. That’s the good thing about the BBL, there are a lot of games. It is tough, but our focus is on both games to be honest.”
Love then finished by discussing how much he is looking forward to the home fans getting behind Plymouth on Sunday, although he admits that he would rather be at home for the second-leg.
Speaking about home advantage, he said: “I am sure Newcastle will be thinking the same thing. When we beat them at Newcastle, we had 2,500 fans there which created a fantastic atmosphere.”
“Obviously down here it is amazing as well and it is going to be a sell-out.”
“I would rather have the second-leg at our place. I am sure over two legs it is going to be very interesting. I think both games will be close.”
As already mentioned though, Plymouth have Cheshire to contend with first before the big one against Newcastle. It is going to be an exciting few days for Love and his team.