Manchester Giants recorded their first win of the season with a superb 79-88 win at north west rivals Cheshire Phoenix.
Led by a towering double double from David Kadiri, the Giants blew their opponents away with a superb second quarter display and then stood firm against a Phoenix fightback in the second half.
The American earned the MVP award with 23 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks, while fellow American Austin Rettig also chipped in with 23 points in his best performance for the club.
With Cheshire going in to the game following their dramatic BBL Cup quarter-final win at Newcastle on Friday, the Giants got off to a good start with Anastasios Traianos making his first start of the season.
At the end of the first quarter, the Giants lead 23-24.
It was in the second quarter that they cut loose, with Rettig’s three point shooting and Kadiri’s all-round game negating the impact of Phoenix’s own giant, CJ Gettys.
The visitors could even afford a botched alley-oop from Kadiri close to the half time buzzer, which meant a potential 18 point lead was only 14 at 38-52.
Inevitably, Phoenix fought back hard in the third quarter and managed to reduce the deficit to just one point.
But led by Callum Jones and Jerelle Okoro, as well as Ingus Bankevics on his second debut for the club, the Giants steadied the ship and a 12-3 run at the start of the fourth quarter made the game virtually safe.
Jones finished with 10 points and nine assists, agonisingly close to a well earned double-double.
Leading Scorers – Gettys 31, Riley 21, May-Thompson 8 (Phoenix); Rettig 23, Kadiri 23, Okoro 11 (Giants)
Turning point – Giants were feeling the heat after the end of the third quarter and might have imploded under the pressure as Phoenix cut the gap to four. But instead, they produced a blistering 12-3 start to the last period and that effectively proved to their game-winning run.
Key stat – Phoenix just couldn’t get their three-point shot going and finished a miserable 3 of 18, while Giants only spilled the ball 8 times in the 40 minutes which was a big positive.
Game hero(es) – Callum Jones pulled the strings beautifully with 10 points and 9 assists, while Austin Rettig shone with 23 points. But, step forward David Kadiri with a massive 23 points and 13 rebounds.