Lions progress in the BBL Cup 

On Saturday 12 November the London Lions and a somewhat vocal group of fans travelled north to Leicester for the quarter final of the BBL cup, knowing that the winning team would go on to face Newcastle in the semi finals. 

The Lions looked the stronger team for most of the game, extending a 12 point lead at the end of q1 to a 16 point lead during a run early in q2 that prevented the Riders from scoring. 

The Lions fans were loud and proud and on many occasions seemed to be out chanting the home fans. The commentator was doing his best to encourage the home fans, clearly realising the value of the fan support. 

At the end of the half the Lions had a 13 point lead and both teams had a few too many fouls, including a Technical on the Riders coach. 

The third quarter was a strange affair. It took almost four minutes for the score to change. The pace picked up a little from there and ended Riders 46 – Lions 57. 

As the final quarter started the Riders were keen not to lose on their home court and were able to bring the score a bit closer. The Lions called a well timed time out and were able to stretch the lead a little again. 

This prompted a Riders timeout at a point when Sullivan had received a Technical and the Riders coach looked close to getting his second as a result of his protests. 

The Riders were then able to get the score within 7 but the Lions kept the pressure on and were able to win the game Riders 67 Lions 76. 

Both teams had reason to take issue with referee calls on the night but the refs decisions were not the reason for the result. 

Lions will next take on Newcastle Eagles in the league on Sunday 13 November and of course will face Newcastle in the Cup (date tbc). 

Plymouth Pavilions 

Plymouth Pavilions plays home to the Plymouth Raiders. Today was my second trip to this venue and it wasn’t a great experience (disappointing given that I enjoyed my first visit). 

It started badly, when the woman on reception gave us some attitude because they hadn’t received the guest list on time. 

A technical problem then meant that the game was delayed by 30 minutes and when it did start there was no game clock or score board and only one shot clock. The announcer was supposed to be keeping everyone up to date but as he doesn’t usually need to provide that level of detail he was out of his comfort zone. 

This caused problems for both teams, most noticeably the Lions at the end of the second quarter when they did not know how long they had left to put the shot up. It also caused confusion for fans. 

This was obviously an unfortunate and unforeseen technical issue but the lack of back up plan did make the whole situation feel quite amateur. 
Venue 

The venue is fairly big. The seats are padded and fairly comfortable for a basketball venue. It is also used as a theatre and music venue so the seating is only on two sides (both sidelines). 

One of those sides is known as the stage. At either end there is a group of three seats offset from the others in the row. I would not recommend these seats (and to be fair I don’t think they have them on sale) as you have a limited view (or no view) of one of the baskets. 
Accessibility 
The venue is fairly easy to get to by car and has plenty of parking, though be warned the car park charges and you will need to have pound coins on you as they don’t accept cards or notes. We were there early and paid £4 for six hours. 

There is apparently a local multi-storey car park that does accept cards etc but I can’t say I noticed this suggesting that it isn’t as convenient as the Pavilions’ car park. 

It’s close to the city centre so you could also use trains to get to Plymouth but you might struggle to get home again after a Sunday evening game. (Games tend to be on Sundays due to the venue being heavily used at other times.)

Merchandise 

I noticed a small stall selling Raiders merchandise but if you are an away fan this probably is not of much interest.

Concessions 

As this venue has other uses it does offer a good range. There is a coffee shop, a bar and the usual range of hotdogs etc on sale. 

I’m not sure how the prices compare to other venues but given the prices in Plymouth generally I would imagine they are good value. 

2016-17 season

The BBL season started over a month ago and the NBA season started a few weeks ago so a blog post is definitely overdue. 

I have travelled to a few games already this season, one in Belgium and one in the BBL. It’s a bit late now for game reviews but venue reviews (for the venues that are not already covered on this site) will be on-line shortly. 

Games to come this season:

BBL

Plymouth Raiders v London Lions x2

Bristol Flyers v London Lions 

Manchester Giants v London Lions

Cheshire Phoenix v London Lions

Leeds Force v London Lions

Euromillions League

Antwerp Giants v Okapi Aalstar 

NBA

Knicks v Celtics

Nets v Hornets

Bulls v Nets  

Bulls v Bucks

Nuggets v Pacers (in London) 

Knicks v Spurs 

Mavericks v Celtics

OKC v Knicks

All Star 2017