The Manchester Giants suffered from another poor second half showing as they fell 101-80 to the Plymouth Raiders at the National Basketball Performance Centre.

After the disappointing manner of the defeat in Glasgow on Friday, the Giants were looking to bounce back quickly and keep their faint play-off hopes alive. The first half was much like the one against the Rocks – Manchester were able to score consistently and keep some distance between themselves and the travelling Raiders, leading 53-49 at the half. 

It was once again the third quarter where things began to fall apart however, as Paul James’ men managed to limit the Giants to just 5 points in 10 minutes and roar into a commanding lead that Lloyd Gardner’s side just couldn’t recover from despite their best efforts, with the second 20 minutes finishing an emphatic 52-27 to the visitors.

Manchester also had to play yet another game without the services of Aaron Geramipoor who is still missing due to a back injury sustained in the warm-up against Worcester, and it’s clear to see just how much his presence is missed on the defensive end of the floor with the Giants digging themselves into another hole and failing to get out. 

David Ulph continued his excellent form despite the poor result, with Mr Consistent getting himself another double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and he was joined at the top of the scoring chart by Sam Cassell Jr (16pts) and Jordan Whelan, who looked more like himself after an off shooting night in Glasgow (16pts, 4rebs). Donovan Johnson was also able to keep up his increase in scoring numbers during the second half of the season (15pts). The gap in scoreline did allow the younger players (Tyrell Brown, Franklin Agu and Joe Heyes) to get some valuable minutes as they continue their development. 

Plymouth’s Mike Morsell went off in the second half to finish with 25pts on 69% shooting, and his backcourt partner Rickey McGill had another quality showing with 23pts and 12 assists of his own. Elvisi Dusha also continued his recent rampage against the Giants, as he had another good showing from the bench (15-6-9).

‘’I thought the first half could have been possibly the best 20 minutes we have played, I think defensively we have taken a step forward. But still unfortunately we didn’t have enough in the second half, and that’s something we have to maintain and correct.’’ Said Head Coach Lloyd Gardner

With the playoffs now even further away, the Giants will need to win almost all of their remaining games to stand a chance of making it to the postseason. That gargantuan task begins next week with arguably the toughest possible test – the table-topping Leicester Riders.

 

Words – Jordan Morris

Photo – AllSportsPhotography