By Juma Ngqobongwana

The Manchester Giants suffered their second defeat of the season as they lost 91-82 to the Newcastle Eagles at Wright Robinson Sports College on Friday evening. The 2011/12 BBL champions were led by Joe Chapman and Charles Smith who both finished with 20 points and backed-up by power forward Darius Defoe with 16.

The Giants were paced by 26 points from David Watts and 20 points from Stefan Gill. The hosts made a lively start to the game getting several good looks at the basket early on as they took an early 17-13 lead with a tip-dunk by Watts following a missed three by James Jones.

The Eagles countered with seven straight points of their own as Smith went coast-to-coast for a layup, Chapman knocked down a triple and forward Kareem Maddox found space inside for a dunk to put the visitors up by three. A jumper from the wing by Watts and a tip-in from Giants forward David Aliu put the home side back in front before a layup from Eagles point guard Anthony Martin gave the visitors a 21-20 lead going into the second period.

After such a positive opening quarter the second was a disappointing one for the Giants as they only managed to score 14 points and missed several shots from point-blank range. The Eagles on the other hand began to heat up as they knocked down five 3-pointers in the period and took advantage of the Giants misses to get out in transition. Eagle_