Plymouth City Patriots have been recognised with a February awards double after a positive run of kind that has seen them surge up into the BBL Championship Play-off positions, resulting in Coach Paul James selecting up the Kevin Cadle Molten BBL Coach of the Month and star American guard Antonio Williams profitable Molten BBL Player of the Month.
Plymouth’s hallmark of late has been shows of character that may delight Coach James, as they’ve gained quite a few huge video games in thrilling vogue – together with in entrance of sell-out crowds at Plymouth Pavilions – usually coming from behind late on and making large performs when they’re wanted most, and frequently in direct response to their coach’s interventions.
In a busy February Patriots went 5-2, with notable wins over the title-challenging London Lions and prime 4 group Manchester Giants, propelling them as much as seventh place within the BBL Championship. Even of their two defeats, they slipped by simply three factors on the street at second-placed Cheshire Phoenix, and 4 factors within the second sport of a double-header with Lions.
Most pleasing for the Plymouth trustworthy could have been two South West derby wins over Bristol Flyers, together with a double-overtime sport that should go down as one of many craziest in latest BBL reminiscence. After profitable 77-73 on the street in Bristol by outscoring them 14-2 within the remaining three minutes when Joe Hart scored eight late factors, they met their rivals once more simply seven days later at Plymouth Pavilions.
Patriots secured an important head-to-head on that evening – presently sitting one place above Flyers within the desk – prevailing 110-103 in double time beyond regulation, however coming after each benches had been ejected within the third quarter and the groups have been down to simply 5 towards 5. Plymouth confirmed their mettle in extraordinary vogue as Elvisi Dusha nailed a buzzer-beating three to drive the additional interval earlier than, down six with 20 seconds to play, Joe Hart and Rowell Graham-Bell did likewise within the first time beyond regulation interval to tie it as soon as extra following a Coach James timeout. They outlasted their guests to win the second extra interval 10-3.
In between these two video games, they hosted Manchester and as soon as extra produced late heroics, coming from 12 factors down with eight minutes to play to win the sport on a last-gasp buzzer-beater from Antonio Williams, with the play once more drawn up from a late Coach James timeout. The remaining weekend of the month noticed them upset the London Lions on the street on the Copper Box Arena, once more rising from a timeout to supply a 12-3 run contained in the final 5 minutes to overturn a late deficit.
In all 5 of these victories Plymouth have gained the final ten minutes of video games – both the fourth quarter or time beyond regulation – and completed so by a mixed 109-80, having trailed for important phases late on in 4 of these. Plymouth boasted the league’s fourth finest defence in February, holding opponents to a league-best 42% from the sphere, forcing a joint-league-best 16 turnovers per sport and permitting simply 31 factors within the paint, second finest within the BBL final month. They confirmed their uplift in depth with the second most quick break factors within the league, the second highest variety of free-throw makes an attempt, and third most factors from turnovers. They have additionally upped their long-range effectivity, because the BBL’s third finest three-point taking pictures group within the final month.
This has been made all of the extra admirable after Patriots’ troublesome begin to the season, with the turnaround in kind coinciding with the return of massive man Rashad Hassan and the December acquisition of thrilling new guard Antonio Williams, who scoops the Molten BBL Player of the Month award along with his working mate proper up there within the rankings too.
The six-foot Chicago native, who graduated from Kent State University and has earlier skilled expertise in Canada and Estonia, averaged 19 factors, eight assists, 4 rebounds and two steals per sport in February’s seven outings, making quite a few large performs alongside the way in which together with emphatic dunks and last-gasp match-winners.
His most notable particular person sport was within the double time beyond regulation victory over Bristol, through which he performed all 50 minutes and completed with 35 factors, 11 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals, whereas proving a handful all through as he shot Sep 11 (82%) on the free-throw line, together with an enormous 17 factors in a 3rd quarter through which Patriots scored 30 to return from behind, earlier than 4 factors, three steals and two assists within the decisive second time beyond regulation interval.
Prior to that he had hit the buzzer-beating winner towards Giants amongst 12 factors and 9 assists in that sport, and had additionally got here up with a key steal and help within the remaining minute. Likewise, within the win over London Lions, he had eight factors and 5 assists within the remaining 16 minutes as they got here from 15 factors down; and had three assists in that late surge that led to victory in Bristol. He featured twice in a row within the weekly BBL All-Star 5 to complete the month.
Williams has scored in double-figures in each sport that he has performed within the BBL, has three double-doubles, and completed with 9 assists in an additional 5 video games. He has epitomised the depth of the Patriots and, total, he’s third within the BBL in scoring (19.2 factors per sport), third in assists (8.4), second in steals (2.1), second in fouls drawn (4.6), and leads the league in minutes performed (36.3).
Plymouth now have a relatively quiet March, with simply three video games, however amazingly they’ve already began the month in precisely the identical vogue, once more popping out of a timeout to hit a last-gasp 9-0 surge to return from behind and beat Newcastle Eagles at Vertu Motors Arena on Friday.