The Giants pick up another win at home this Thursday evening as they past the London Lions 94-56. 

Thursday night action this time around as the Manchester Giants hosted their southern adversaries in the London Lions in a game that had no shortage of highlights. 

Francois Lewis backs down Lorenzo Cugini for the Giants first 2 points of this game followed by a slam from Jamell Anderson in the next offensive possession in what has been an end to end game so far with 13 points scored in 2 minutes, 9 for the Lions and 4 to the Giants. The Giants begin to battle back with Francois Lewis on a backdoor cut, found by Tyrik Armstrong. A Martaveous McKnight three keeps the giants within touching distance of the Lions followed by a tremendous block from Francois Lewis to deny Lions guard Justin Robinson. It’s was all level at 

15 a piece after a David Ulph slam home and Tyrik Armstrong converting a tough layup. A scoreless couple of minutes followed until Kaboza scored from close and Jack Hudson converted 1 of his 2 free throws. London only ahead by a sliver as the score finished 17-16. 

Manchester hit the ground running in the second quarter, some patient ball movement followed by some slippery off ball movement from Will Saunders found himself open at the top of the key to drain a three. Saunders kept the scoring going as he cut inside, changed hands mid-air to convert the tough layup getting through three lions. Saunders made this second quarter his own after sinking a three from the left wing leaning off to the side taking the Giants ahead by 7. Manchester showed some razzle dazzle coming down the floor as Jamell Anderson found Tyrik Armstrong who the pump fakes and cuts inside to find a cutting Martaveous McKnight.

McKnight then produces an inch perfect behind the back pass to find Francois Lewis for the easy bucket. Tyrik Armstrong continued to produce poetry in motion looking to cut from the left wing, Armstrong then steps back and sinks the fadeaway midrange all whilst being fouled. Armstrong also converts the and one to put the Giants up by 11. The threes carried on raining down on London as Jamell Anderson and Geno Artison converted on opposite wings on back to back possessions to take the lead up to 17. The lead went out to as high as 21 with Tyrik Armstrong converting from close and Francois Lewis found under the basket by the keen eye of Geno Artison. Lorenzo Cugini of the Lions made a three of his own to cut down the lead slightly to 18 and that was where the teams ended the second quarter with The Giants up 45-27. 

London Lions opened the scoring for the second half off the back of a Dirk Williams three, Tyrik Armstrong replied almost instantaneously as he drilled a three of his own to keep that 20+ point lead. After a slight dry spell, three continued to rain down tonight. Consistent and patient ball movement from the Giants found Jamell Anderson open for three followed by Martaveous McKnight in the next possession. Will Saunders adds to his tally in the exact same way, a deep three from downtown and the Giants led by 22 as a result. The lead only continued to be extended as 2 Will Saunders 3 balls followed by a make from the line for Ulph, a 3 from Josh Steel and a pair of Jamell Anderson free throws took the lead out to a staggering 30. David Ulph capitalised on a mix-up at midcourt from the Lions to throw it down with force and give the Giants a 70-37 lead heading into the 4th quarter. 

A slower start to the quarter for both teams for the first 2 minutes which paved the way for Geno Artison to shoot and drain a three making it the Giants 12th three of the 17 made tonight. After the Lions showed signs of life. This slowly dissipated though as the Giants once again found rhythm from beyond the arc with the likes of Francois Lewis, Geno Artison and even Kingsley Kwagboso all contributing to the Giants impressive tally of points here tonight. This makes it the biggest Giants win against London ever as well as the first win that the Giants have had over the London Lions since 2015. 

Francois Lewis was on fire tonight as he flirted with a double double with 20 points and 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Tyrik Armstrong was hot on his heels as he also finished with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists to his name. Will Saunders and Jamell Anderson both finished in double digit scoring with the former scoring 14 points and the latter 10. 

Assistant Coach Ploutos Vourliotis said ”Just amazing, the scoreboard speaks for itself, if you look a the stats it tells a big story of how well we did, I think we had about 25 turnovers, to win by 38 points and  let me say every time I get interviewed it’s when we play London, it’s great to finally be talking to you guys, the fans and just saying what a great performance that the team gave today”.

The Giants are on the road for their next game, a lengthy trip up north, past the border to the Glasgow Rocks at the Emirates Arena on March 27th. Tip off is at 5pm and will be available to view on BBL Player. 

Words – Michael Blain

Photo – All Sports Photography