Plymouth Raiders star Paul Williams believes that his team deserved to beat Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Trophy final at the weekend.
The Raiders instead went down 184-177 on aggregate as the Eagles secured their fifth BBL Trophy title. It was a thrilling final though and one which Plymouth looked like winning at one stage.
After winning the first-leg, Plymouth still held a one-point advantage after the first quarter, but BBL league leaders Newcastle then fought back to win.
Reflecting on being losing finalists, Williams told bblfans: “Everybody was disappointed, because we really worked hard.”
“We felt we deserved it because we are a good team and we really felt we deserved to beat them in that game. For it to slip away like that bothered us.”
Williams doesn’t want to dwell on the disappointment too much though as the Raiders still have plenty to play for in the remainder of the campaign.
On this subject, he said: “We can spend time looking back on this defeat, but we still have goals. We still have the play-offs, so the season is not over yet.”
Despite the defeat though, Williams admitted that he enjoyed playing in a major final in front of two passionate sets of supporters.
“Whenever you get teams that are going for one of the top goals in England, you get a good fan base and a great atmosphere. I definitely enjoyed all the fans and the support we were getting.”
Plymouth did return to winning ways in their first BBL game following the final, working hard to secure a 71-60 victory at Glasgow Rocks and Williams admits this was a tough test for his team.
He continued: “It was difficult, 48 hours after the final, to play again. It was hard to get up for that game, especially against a good team like Glasgow. It wasn’t easy.”
“We came out there and showed a lot of character to bounce back, but that game is over with now. We have to look forward to Durham and Leicester on Saturday and Sunday.”
These are both home games for Plymouth, so there is no doubt that they will be targeting two victories this weekend. This would consolidate 3rd place in the BBL as well as put pressure on the top two of Newcastle Eagles and Worcester Wolves.
Saturday’s contest against the Durham Wildcats gets underway at 7.15pm, while Sunday’s clash with the Leicester Riders is a 3.45pm start.