THE Giants went down fighting in Sheffield – and will be out to secure a place in the play-offs by beating London Lions on Sunday.
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THE Giants head into the final weekend of the regular season with a massive double-header and everything to play for.
Jeff Jones and his men are in equal seventh place and looking to seal a play-off place with a tough trip to Sheffield on Friday before London Lions visit Wright Robinson on Sunday (5.30pm).
GIANTS duo James Jones and Rob Marsden have been named in the latest BBL team of the week.
A quick insight into the work done by our basketball academy partners at Myerscough College.
The Giants took a massive leap towards reaching their first play-off berth since returning to the BBL with a home victory over a Plymouth side just one place above them in the BBL standings.
James Jones lead the way for the hosts with another stellar all-round performance as he finished with 20 points eight assists and seven rebounds. It was the third time that he has more than 20 points and five assists in the last five games; the Giants have gone 2-1 in those games with the only loss a narrow defeat to the BBL title winners – the Newcastle Eagles.
Rob Marsden showed no signs of slowing down following his BBL Player of the Month award as he chipped in with 18 points and a game-high 16 rebounds for his 11th double-double in what continues to be a tremendous debut season for the Giants’ power forward.
The visitors were paced by 17 points from US shooting guard Donald Robinson and former Giants centre Ben Eaves finished with 15 points and a team-high 11 rebounds as all five Plymouth starters scored in double figures. However the starting five were forced to carry the bulk of the load as the Raiders got very little production from their bench players as they were outscored by 39 points to six by their Giants counterparts.
The fatigue from the starters became clear in the third period when the home-side used a 9-0 run to take a 56-47 lead as the visitors came up empty on five straight possessions. The Giants took full advantage of the Raiders miscues and pushed the ball in the open court leading to fast-break opportunities.
Robinson stopped the run with a difficult bank-shot before another former Giant Nick George followed up a missed shot with a ferocious slam-dunk to trim the Giants’ lead down to five. George started the game well with eight first-half points but he struggled with his turnovers on the night and finished with five in total to go with 15 points and four rebounds in 26 minutes of action.
The Giants responded immediately with an 8-0 run to give themselves some breathing room as David Aliu converted a 3-point play followed by a 3-pointer from Stefan Gill and a pair of free-throws to put the hosts up 64-51 with 3:25 left in the period.
Louis Sayers drained a 3-pointer for the visitors as they tried to stem the bleeding but the home side didn’t miss a beat as they closed out the quarter in a dominant fashion with a 13-3 run to take a commanding 77-57 lead into the final 10 minutes of action.
The Raiders refused to give-up and managed their highest scoring quarter of the contest with 23 points in the fourth but they were unable to gain any ground on their hosts as the Giants continued to pour on the pressure with 22 points of their own to ensure a double-digit lead throughout the quarter.
The win put the Giants in control of their own destiny heading into the final weekend of the regular season. With a road trip against the third-placed Sheffield Sharks on Friday followed by a home clash against the London Lions two days later. The Giants know that if they match or better the results of the three teams around them they will definitely find themselves in the post-season.
The atmosphere at Wright Robinson should be electric as the home fans look to get behind their team for what promises to be an action-packed affair on Easter Sunday that you won’t want to miss.
Giants v Raiders boxscore HERE
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The winner of the ‘Supporters’ Player of the Year’ will be announced at the London Lions game on 20/04/14.