Sharks bit off more than they could chew as the Giants made it a third win in a row 89-77.
Lloyd Gardner and his Manchester Giants were back in action tonight against Abita Lyons and his Sheffield Sharks.
The first quarter ended on equal terms at 17 apiece for both the Mancunian outfit and their South Yorkshire opponents, Josh Steel being the main offensive spark for the team during the opening segment contributing to 7 of the opening 17 points. Big defensive stops were also a main contributor in keeping it on level terms capped off with a monstrous block from Geno Artison in the final few seconds.
Geno Artison showed the Giants fans just exactly what he can do as he went on a 4-0 run to start the second quarter. Scoring on all three levels and ending his run with 10 points before going to the bench for a well-earned rest. Since then, Sheffield started to take a hold over the game with back-to-back threes from Williams to take the lead which was further built upon by Aaron Anderson and Jordan Ratinho. As a result, the Giants went into the half down by 6 but with everything to gain.
After the break both teams came out firing on all cylinders in high-intensity end to end action that would have made fans at home regret not turning up for a Tuesday night fixture, both teams equalling one another from points to defensive efforts with seemingly nothing to separate the two in the early minutes of the quarter. A gap soon started to form courtesy of a lack of care for possession from Sheffield which led to the ball being stolen from numerous Giants players. Before the Sharks knew it they were down by 4 to start the final quarter.
On the back of the momentum gained in the third quarter, Manchester went on an impressive scoring streak scoring 6-8 field goal attempts as a team and gained the first double-digit lead of the whole game. Sheffield soon cut the lead down to size and were within touching distance of regaining their previous lead they had going into the second half. By the end of the bout, the double-digit lead was restored and the Giants ran out as victors.
Martaveous McKnight had a spectacular scoring night leading the team with 23 points on 53% from the field and 60% from three making it his second 20+ point outing in the cup.
Geno Artison showcased his abilities tonight, he finished tonight with 14 points and 7 rebounds. The Giant’s number 14 also showcased a defensive display with a block and a steal to show his defensive calibur.
Head Coach Lloyd Gardner said ”Delighted to win, we didn’t start particularly well. There was a little bit of a lack of energy and perhaps we didn’t execute as well as we wanted. Then I thought second half we picked it up, I’m pleased with the way we performed in the second half. Overall a good performance similar to the last couple of games, lots to still get better on but we’re heading in the right direction and we still feel we have got more to come”.
Manchester are on a hot run of form currently and will be looking to continue this as they look towards their next fixture. Giants will be away in the North East as they face the reigning BBL Playoff champions in the Newcastle Eagles at the Vertu Motors Arena on October 22nd.
Words – Michael Blain
Photo – AllSportsPhotography