Basketball: Road trip takes toll on Raiders

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The Independent Online

When the Plymouth Raiders' coach, Gary Stronach, and his players arrive in Cornwall in the early hours of tomorrow morning, back from a BBL Trophy game at Brighton Bears, it will be the end of a 2,400-mile road trip in seven days.

When the Plymouth Raiders' coach, Gary Stronach, and his players arrive in Cornwall in the early hours of tomorrow morning, back from a BBL Trophy game at Brighton Bears, it will be the end of a 2,400-mile road trip in seven days.

Fixtures at Brighton or Birmingham Bullets are as close as the Raiders get to a local derby, but during this past seven days Stronach's nomads have possibly travelled more miles within Britain's borders than any other sports team in a single week.

Sunday's return trip to Glasgow, where they lost by 21 points to Scottish Rocks, last night's Championship defeat at Newcastle Eagles by 73-68, where the tiring Raiders were outscored 12-3 over the final minutes, and tonight's game against Brighton add up to a gruelling schedule.

But it is hardly fair to judge the Raiders on this week's results, after their step up from the second tier EBL. They are seventh in the Championship, jostling with Thames Valley Tigers and Milton Keynes Lions for the seventh and eighth play-off places, and lead their BBL Trophy group ahead of tonight's game with the Bears.

Stronach said: "This week hasn't been great to us. It's taking its toll on the players. We're steeped in a winning tradition and we get down from losing games. But we are quick to rebound from that."

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