Giants fall short of play off place

London Lions

Heartbreak for Manchester Giants as we fell agonisingly short of a play off spot after a spectacular comeback was denied by a late controversial basket from Rod Brown to finish the game 87-85 in the Lions favour.

The Giants looked to have pulled off a tremendous great escape in the fourth, however, they were succumbed to a controversial last second lay up shot from Brown of the London Lions to dash the play off hopes of the Giants in front of a full house at the Wright Robinson College.

The Giants got off to a slow start giving the Lions an early 17 point lead to put us on the back foot at the end of the 1st quarter, which resulted in us trailing by 33-14.We started to pick up the pace and reduce the deficit in the second quarter with some clinical baskets, to net 30 points. Callum Jones stepped up for the Giants in arguably his best performance yet at the Wright Robinson, to provide the Giants a life line, scoring 6 points in a row to narrow the gap to 20-35. Ogedengbe continued to inspire his team on the attacking front to pile the pressure on the Giants. Devan Bailey and Stefan Gill started to take the game to the Lions to reduce the deficit to 14 , down by 44-58 at half time.

A Ben Eaves inspired third quarter looked to keep the Giants in reaching distance of the play offs to net 7 straight points. A 3 pointer sandwiched between two outstanding dunks by Eaves got the Wright Robinson on their feet to keep the scoreboard ticking. Despite Eaves effort the Giants trailed 75-61 approaching the final quarter, and looked to have a big ask ahead to keep the play off hopes alive.

The heroic comeback started in the fourth although the Lions opened the scoring taking their lead to 19 after a quick 5 points in the first two minutes. From then on it was Giants dominance as soon as Aliu nailed a 3 pointer and was assisted by James Jones 2 pointer and free throws. Aliu, Callum Jones and Eaves continued to dominate the Lions scoring crucial baskets during the fourth and keep the play off’s in reaching distance.

The Giants continued to chip away at the lead and when a Callum Jones two pointer was followed by an Aliu 3, the deficit was down to one point with 18 seconds left. Lions hit one out of the two free throws after great noise from the home crowd made him miss the first. After a strategic timeout called by Jeff Jones, Stefan Gill got on the ball and managed to weave his way through to the basket to tie the game at 85-85 with 9 seconds left. In a dramatic end the Lions finished up the game with a controversial lay up from Rod Brown to end the Giants play off dreams with an 87-85 victory.

The Giants shown remarkable character and should hold their heads high after a scintillating performance with David Aliu topping the scoring charts with 20 points and 6 rebounds assisted by Ben Eaves with 17 points and Callum Jones who finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds.