The PLYMOUTH City Patriots had another rough weekend in the British Basketball League. Facing tough opposition, the Patriots lost both games, handing them their third and fourth losses in a row.
The South West Derby was the first of their defeats on the road Friday night, with a stellar performance from the Bristol Flyers, who dominated from the opening tip off. They would ultimately take the game 99-60 in a blowout victory that sent the Patriots packing and their head coach Paul James back to the drawing board. In all fairness, the Flyers, currently second in the league table, are on top form this season and the gap between the front runners and virtually every team in the chasing pack is becoming evident.
Sunday afternoon the Patriots headed home to take on the team currently occupying sixth in the league table, Cheshire Phoenix. Despite playing with far more desire and tempo than previously and the game started out as a tightly fought contest up until half time, with the score 39-42 to the visitors. The Patriots would then fail to find an answer to the Phoenix onslaught in the third quarter and Cheshire ran away with the win, 67-90.
"It's been a tough few weeks..." started coach Paul James, post game, continuing "We're not playing Plymouth basketball basically, so we really need to raise our game, as far as intensity levels are concerned." Coach James was also asked if it is going to be possible, moving forward, to put these heavy defeats behind him and his team, he responded, "We've got no choice. Those games have happened and there's no point dwelling on the past. We have got to move forward. We've got to play hard for forty minutes and try and be the team to set the pace and the tone."
The Patriots are desperately holding on to the eighth spot in the league table and at the moment seem likely to finish in the playoffs. They will have to keep a close eye over their shoulder however, as the Newcastle Eagles are making up ground fast. The two teams are set to face each other on the last game of the season, which looks like it could well be a repeat of last season's playoff position decider, which the Patriots won in dramatic fashion. The Plymouth side have a tough away fixture against the reigning league champions, Leicester Riders on the 28th March.