Gavin Love admits Plymouth Raiders didn’t do quite enough to end their five-year silverware drought in the BBL Trophy final.

But he criticised the game officials for clamping down hard on his team in the closing stages of what would ultimately be a 96-80 defeat to Newcastle Eagles with two big calls which hindered their cause.

Plymouth’s real downfall was their shooting. A horrific 3/23 from three-point range. Just 56% from the line. And a lack of offensive discipline.

It was a much better performance from when they were pulverised in January’s BBL Cup final by the same opponents.

But it was still a painful loss when the chance of a prize was within reach.

“We’ve beaten them two times in a row because the games have been played tough and fair,” said Love.

“In that game we didn’t shoot the ball well. And things didn’t go our way. I’m really disappointed n how things turned out. They played well. Give them credit. They shot really well and they did what they needed to do.

“In crucial moments, we lost our heads and we lacked a bit of composure. And that ultimately cost us the game.”

James Jones and Michael Ojo were given fouls late in the game. Both were judgement calls from a refereeing crew that was re-jigged at the last minute.

Harsh, Love felt.

“There were big big decisions being made at crucial times in the game when we wanted to get going,” he declared. “And things really unfolded for us. We had an unsportsmanlike foul. I didn’t see anything.

“We had a technical foul. I didn’t see anything. Ultimately that didn’t cost us the game. But it would have been closer. With four minutes to go we were down by 2 and we got a T.

“I’m very disappointed. The referees who were supposed to do the game didn’t make it on time and I thought there were some crazy calls. I mean who calls a technical foul for touching the ball in the last four minutes of a final. You tell me who does that? No-one.”

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