There’s a case of unfinished business for Donald Robinson in the BBL this season as he strives to win a trophy with the Plymouth Raiders.
The 6’4″ guard was a leading player in the league last season when he amassed over 500 points with the Glasgow Rocks but was left empty-handed, something he aims to atone for with his new side.
“Returning to the UK was to accomplish a goal. The main goal I set for myself was to win some silverware this season and be a well respected team in this league.”
Robinson was snapped up by ex-coach Gavin Love in the summer as one of three players signed from Raiders’ league rivals with Gabe Haskins and Ben Eaves also returning for a second season in the BBL, which he believes to be a benefit.
He said: “I think it helps a lot having a year under my belt in the BBL because I know what to expect now, what it really takes to win and how this league is ran. It’s a good league to start off your career as a professional basketball player.”
Jay Marriott replaced Love as head-coach just weeks before the season and the Plymothian has not been afraid to make changes with Louis Sayers and Tom Woods signed to add depth before Americans Garrius Holloman and Jarvis Jones faced the axe as Trevor Setty and Matt Pressey came in to replace their compatriots.
And Robinson admits it wasn’t easy having to adjust to a change of coach so close to the season but has praised the new coaching combination of Marriott and his assistant David Brock.
“It was a hard thing to do, just knowing that we were right there where we wanted to be and then had to start all over from scratch knowing new guys were coming in.
“Jay (Marriott) and David (Brock) have been doing a great job with coaching as far as getting us prepared for each game and teaching us new things, they’re new to this so we’re all one big team/family and we’re learning together.”
The transition period was bound to be a working process and it took two opening defeats before Plymouth to hit the ground running. They triumphed in overtime against Newcastle before collecting a convincing 89-73 win from their long road trip to take on the Rocks.
Robinson said: “Those two victories were against 2 top teams in this league and yeah we started off slow but it was a learning curve for us and we used that as our motivation.”
The 24 year-old American proved to be a thorn in the side of his former club with a 30 point showing and is once again showing the BBL his ability to step up in big games by being a reliable go-to scorer. Robinson netted 54 points in the two games to lead his side and is well aware of the added pressure of being a key player, particularly in important games.
“I not only thrive in those type of games, I also know that my role plays a big part for the team and if I don’t play my part then I’m not only letting myself down but also my teammates.”
The Raiders will have to cope with more change after releasing Swedish-American Andreas Schreiber prior to their recent game against Glasgow and the 6’11″ centre has since joined league leaders Worcester. Once again, Marriott has acted swiftly by drafting in Morakinyo Williams on a week-to-week basis.
Plymouth will look to continue their win streak this weekend and Robinson gave his verdict on what the Raiders need to do for the rest of the season if he is to fulfil his BBL ambition.
“We need to just play as a team and have trust in one another and everything will fall into place because the talent and youth that we have are the key things for a team like us.”
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