PLYMOUTH Raiders will look to get their season up and running on Sunday when they entertain champions Newcastle Eagles at the Pavilions in the BBL Championship (4pm).
Raiders have lost their opening two league games against Manchester Giants and London Lions.
The city side have changed their roster ahead of the game with New Zealand forward Richie Edwards coming in to replace Bennie Lewis, who has parted company with the club.
Edwards, who stands at 6ft 7in, played for Canterbury Rams in the New Zealand league, where he was Rookie of the Year. He is a friend of current Raiders players BJ Anthony and Daryl Corletto.
“He has a reputation as a scorer and reminds me a lot of Pierre Hampton from last year’s Raiders team,” said head coach Jay Marriott.
“He’s going to fit in very well here, and will really help our rotation of players.”
Raiders did not have a match last weekend and coach Jay Marriott hopes having that break will have helped his new-look team.
“Really having that weekend off just allowed us to keep familiarising ourselves with the sets and working on defensive rotations,” said the Raiders boss.
Marriott also hopes playing the champions at the Pavilions will lift his team.
“You are always buzzing to play such a great team,” he said. “The intensity in practice just shows that everyone is really relishing the challenge.
“With a few tweaks I feel like we are going to find a good, strong amount of form and we will want to try and protect our home court against the current champions.”
Fab Flournoy’s Newcastle will play Saturday night at Bristol.
Eagles guard/forward Charles Smith: “I don’t believe the back-to-back games will affect us at all. We normally play better in the second game.
“The bus trip is more draining then the two games, but we have a veteran team, who knows what to expect and know how to take care of their bodies to be prepared to play at their best.”