Ahead of his side's clash with the Everton Tigers tomorrow night, Raiders boss Gary Stronach said that the re-signing of Raiders' leading scorer of the last four seasons, Drew Lasker, for the remainder of the 2009/10 season, is exactly what his team need at present. The Raiders, who have a miserable 1-9 record and have had the misfortune of losing Forward James Noel and, more recently, point guard Eric Flato to injury, currently sit bottom of the BBL Championship Table.
American point guard Flato, a graduate of Yale University in his first year as a professional, suffered a serious leg injury which has meant that the 6'1'' Point Guard has flown back to the States, with Lasker returning to the Raiders as his replacement: 'Drew led the team in scoring for the past four years, he knows the league inside-out and is a veteran of the league now so to have him back is a big signing' said Stronach.
The veteran play caller also expressed his excitement at reuniting points machine Lasker with the lightning- quick Anthony Martin, who also returned to the club after a brief stint at Worcester Wolves earlier in the season. He added: 'Anthony and Drew have been one of the most exciting guard combos in the league for the past two years. Drew can get out quick and run the floor, and Anthony knows where to get the ball to him best. Ali Gall, as we all know, can spot up and knock down his shots, so having Drew back provides us with a different option offensively.'
Whilst he has welcomed back Lasker with open arms, Stronach admits that losing Flato was very unfortunate for both player and club: 'Once we knew that Eric would be out for the season, we had to move quickly for Drew. We didn't want to have to replace him, but it was a serious injury and as we are not as deep as previous seasons anyway, we had to look for a replacement.'
Stronach also issued a rallying cry to his side to start getting some much needed results: 'We are not a bottom of the league team, we all know that, but we have to start winning games' he added.
Meanwhile, Saturday evening also sees Dave Titmuss' Worthing Thunder side welcome the Newcastle Eagles to Worthing Leisure Centre, and the 63 year old said he is pleased with his players commitment to the cause: 'I can't fault the guys in their commitment to getting better, and I've noticed that bit by bit we're a little more consistent in adhering to our team play rules' he said: ' It's a tough League for us and we're trying to make our way towards a Play-Off spot. I can guarantee two things – effort is non- negotiable at our Club, and I'm really proud of the never-say-die attitude that our guys have displayed since day one of training camp' he added.
Friday's and Saturday's fixtures are completed by the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders battling through a tough double-header, with the Essex Pirates Away on Friday and PAWS London Capital at home the following evening, and the Guildford Heat welcome the in-form Sheffield Sharks on Saturday night.
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