Report: Plymouth Raiders 61 Glasgow Rocks 63 (after overtime)
Glasgow Rocks pulled back a 17-point deficit at one point to claim their first league win in nerve-shredding circumstances, finally seeing off Plymouth Raiders in overtime.
It was a massive reaction by the team after the manner of their loss in Bristol on Saturday, which will have pleased coach Gareth Murray, who led by example, putting up 21 points.
It took a good couple of minutes for either team to find the first points, with Ashley Hamilton starting things off with a three-pointer to give Raiders an early lead.
Murray responded with a three-point jump shot of his own and although Julius Van Sauers added two more points, it was the extent of the Rocks’ labours, going in 13-7 down after the first quarter.
It was better in the second from Glasgow as they began to find their rhythm, Murray, along with Isa Brandon, Jonny Bunyan and Fraser Malcolm were getting in on the action.
Plymouth pulled ahead by six as Hamilton finished off three points, but it didn’t deter Glasgow as two free throws from Marc Kwedi and Malcolm, with three of his own, pulled the gap to one.
Raiders however finished the first half just three points, but this was just the warm-up to the drama that lay ahead.
Another third quarter collapse looked likely as Plymouth picked up 11 unanswered points, with Chris Porter-Bunton grabbing five of them.
Rocks fan would have been watching through the gaps of their fingers by this point, but a new-found determination in the team meant what happened in Bristol in Saturday wasn’t about to happen again.
Glasgow picked up only nine points in the third, Isa Brandon contributing with four, but it was enough to keep them in the game, despite the 12-point difference going into the final session.
And what a quarter it was as the fightback began.
The points began to come for the Rocks as Raiders struggled to regain the momentum, which was firmly with the visitors.
Murray, Bunyan and Brandon went out and grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, battering Plymouth with their relentless offensive plays.
They could only muster eight points to Glasgow’s 20 and when Murray finished a three-point jump shot, it levelled the game off at 54-54 with a minute to go .
No further points were scored as the game moved into overtime and the five minutes that followed were tense to say the least.
Elvisi Dushka edged Plymouth in front in the extra period with a free throw, with Van Sauers getting two points then Murray with three to put Glasgow in front.
Free throws from Murray (2), Malcolm (1) and Mpondo (1) got the Rocks over the line in the end to finish with a two-point win and secure the first league points of the season and complete a magnificent turnaround.