The Manchester Giants couldn’t make it back-to-back victories in the BBL as they fell 91-77 to the table-topping Leicester Riders at Belle Vue.

These two sides played out an absolute classic a few weeks ago which saw Leicester win in overtime, and it appeared that we were going to witness a similar contest, with both sides shooting well in the first half and the score being 41-40 to the Riders heading into the final 20 minutes.

As we’ve seen so many times though, it was the second half where Leicester took control of the game, as they outscored the Giants 50-36 with some aggressive defence and got the baskets (and the usual free throws) they needed to in order to take the game away from Danny Byrne’s side.

It was yet another game of missed opportunities for Manchester, with periods of inefficient offence going hand-in-hand with some shots just refusing to go in. Leicesters impact on the game’s rebounding was impressive them out-boarding the home side 48-35.

Alex Ouandie was the Giants’ top scorer on the night after going off in the fourth quarter, finishing with 20pts and 5 rebounds, and Justin Satchell followed up his stellar debut on Friday with another good display (17pts, 9rebs). Sam Cassell Jr was his usual consistent self with 12-9-5, and Donovan Johnson was also able to get himself into double figures with 10 points.

For Leicester, MVP candidate Geno Crandall once again showed why he’s one of the most versatile players in the league with 21-8-8 after sitting out most of the first half in foul trouble, and Corey Johnson stepped up big time for Rob Paternostro’s men as he scored 24pts to go along with 7 rebounds. Ali Fraser was a big influence off the Riders bench,  finishing 11-6.

‘’We’ve managed to split the weekend with a great win down in Worcester. I think we competed really hard with Leicester. They are top of the league and have lost one game for a reason. They’ve been together for a long time, have a very good coach & a very good system. This is a new team and we are still finding our way. We played well this weekend.’’ Said Head Coach Danny Byrne 

The Giants return next week with another double header, travelling to the Sheffield Sharks on Friday before a home game against the Bristol Flyers on Sunday.

 

Words – Jordan Morris

Photo – All Sports Photography