Surrey Scorchers have qualified for the BBL Championship Play-offs after a decisive road win over fellow contenders Plymouth Raiders, 93-70, led by 18 points off the bench for Gabriel McCray and another double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds for Chaz Rollins.
Scorchers have now won eight of their last eleven games and, with this late charge, are one of the teams carrying momentum into the post-season. The defeat, meanwhile, sees Raiders having lost five in a row, slipping out of the Play-off places and hoping results go their way on the final day.
Post-game, Head Coach Creon Raftopoulos said: “At the start of the season we set out to get to the Play-Offs so this is a big result for us. I feel like the guys played to the best of their ability tonight and really trusted one and other.
“I am really thrilled with what the guys did today.”
Quincy Taylor’s triple sparked the Scorchers, and they turned it around to get in front at 14-12 when Kalil Irving scored seven in a row and his triple capped a 12-1 response, as Plymouth didn’t score for nearly five minutes.
And Scorchers took control when they started the second stanza with another 17-2 surge, McCray emerging from the bench to hit consecutive triples in the space of thirty seconds, as the lead reached double-figures at 35-21.
Raiders missed eight of their first ten shots in the period, but an 11-4 finish to the half, sparked by a third Corletto triple, did get them back to 43-34.
But that was as good as it would get. Taylor hit another important trey, and Rollins followed with consecutive scores, to push the lead back out to 59-42 on a run of seven unanswered; before the visitors dominated the fourth quarter.
McCray added six more in an 11-0 burst late on, Tayo Ogedengbe’s triple seeing the lead peak at 92-68.
Scorchers host the Bristol Flyer at the Sports Park on Sunday afternoon (4pm tip-off), with the winner of the tie taking 7th place.
Full details of their two-legged Play-Off battle will follow on Sunday evening.
Report from BBL.org.uk.