Battle for the Playoffs Enters Final Weekend

Just one weekend remains in the 2016-17 BBL regular season with two spots in the playoffs still to be decided.

Leicester Riders secured their second straight league title last Friday, and they will be joined by Newcastle, Glasgow, Sheffield, Worcester, London and two other teams in the post-season.

With two games remaining, Bristol Flyers, Plymouth Raiders and Surrey Scorchers all have 14-17 records with the Scorchers taking on both of their rivals this weekend.

Here’s how the three teams have matched up this season:

Sep 24: Bristol Flyers 85-80 Plymouth Raiders
Sep 25: Plymouth Raiders 87-63 Surrey Scorchers
Nov 18: Bristol Flyers 67-73 Surrey Scorchers
Jan 20: Bristol Flyers 98-103 Plymouth Raiders (OT)
Feb 17: Surrey Scorchers 99-75 Plymouth Raiders
Mar 24: Plymouth Raiders 85-62 Bristol Flyers
Mar 25: Bristol Flyers 74-85 Surrey Scorchers
Apr 22: Plymouth Raiders v Surrey Scorchers
Apr 23: Surrey Scorchers v Bristol Flyers

Flyers 1-2 Raiders; Scorchers 2-0 Flyers; Raiders 1-1 Scorchers

Current combined head-to-head records:

Scorchers 3-1 (+17)
Raiders 3-2 (+23)
Flyers 1-4 (-40)

Bristol Flyers (14-17)

After beating their South-West rivals in their opening game, the Flyers went on to lose their next 11 games. The arrival of Aaron Cosby brought a change in fortunes with a five-game win streak starting in December.

They also enjoyed a couple of wins over London and beat Glasgow on the road, but a weekend in March saw defeats against Surrey and Plymouth, which will prove costly if it comes down to head-to-head records.

Apr 22 v Manchester (H); Apr 23 v Surrey (A)

Plymouth Raiders (14-17)

Another mixed season for the Raiders who started 5-5 before winning six of their next seven to look well placed to avoid yet another battle to make the post-season.

However, a poor run of form coincided with their trip to the Trophy Final and after going unbeaten in January, lost seven of their next eight in the league.

They certainly have the firepower with a strong starting rotation and they can secure their place with victory at home to Surrey before facing Manchester in their final game.

Apr 22 v Surrey (H); Apr 23 v Manchester (A)

Surrey Scorchers (14-17)

The Scorchers were faced with a tough schedule early on with a number of double-headers whilst taking on Leicester twice as they lost their first five games and were 2-11.

Creon Raftopoulos’ side won five of the next six to kickstart their campaign and four straight wins in March helped close the gap on the top eight before last week’s huge overtime win over Newcastle.

Their fate is very much in their hands as Surrey just need one win from their final two as they take on both Plymouth and Bristol.

Apr 22 v Plymouth (A); Apr 23 v Bristol (H)

Scenarios:

The winner of Plymouth-Surrey is sure to advance with the head-to-head on the line, while if Plymouth and Bristol both win on Saturday then the Surrey-Bristol game on the final day will decide the last spot.

Bristol need to win both games providing Plymouth don’t lose to Manchester on the final day, while it is possible for Plymouth to advance without winning either of their two games.

It is also possible for the 3-way tie to remain but Bristol could not advance in that scenario.

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