The Manchester Giants made it two wins from two in the BBL Cup, as they bested local rivals Cheshire Phoenix with a dominant 106-64 win.

Unlike the season opener 10 days ago, the Giants were able to call upon new American imports Sam Cassell Jr, Lyle Hexom and Breaon Brady, all of whom made a big impact on their debuts.

Hexom, who ended the game with 22 points and 10 rebounds, started deadly from three-point range as he’s shown throughout his career, knocking down four triples in his haul; whilst Cassell Jr scored 25 and had 8 rebounds in a performance that invoked shades of his NBA Championship winning father.

Bulgarian forward Alex Ouandie had another great showing as well, following up his 23 points from last week with 21 this time around.

The Giants made a fantastic start, bossing the first quarter by 33-9 as Ouandie scored 12 points, including the last eight, and Hexom added eight including a pair of his treys; before going in at the half 57-23 up, as the Phoenix struggled to keep up with the electric pace set by Danny Byrne’s side. The home side were in control on both ends of the court, as their excellent rebounding allowed the offence to flourish.

The Phoenix were more competitive and aggressive in the second half, but they weren’t able to perform a similar second half surge to last week, as steady scoring from the Giants kept them at a distance as they eventually romped to a 42 point win. That represented a record winning margin over the north west rivals since Giants returned to the BBL in 2012, with a record points haul and a best defensive performance against this opponent in those eight years.

Head Coach Danny Byrne said: “A very solid, professional first half, I felt in the third quarter we got a bit arrogant, overconfident maybe but we managed to bring it back again in that fourth quarter.

The Giants are back in action next week with a double header, as they face the Glasgow Rocks on Friday 27th and Sunday 29th November in their final two Group 2 games.


Words: Jordan Morris

Photo: All Sports Photography