Manchester rocked Glasgow’s world as they cruised to victory 99-80.
Gareth Murray’s Scottish outfit travelled down south to face Lloyd Gardner and his Manchester Giants. The last time these teams battled it out was in the BBL cup which saw Glasgow take the spoils. Manchester were looking and got their redemption.
After a few scoreless possessions to open up the first quarter, Tyrik “The Magic Man” Armstrong opened up scoring for Manchester. Shots carried on falling for both teams as they were neck and neck throughout the whole quarter with only one possession ever separating them. Manchester were finding early success in the paint when scoring and showing great determination to grab offensive rebounds leading to second chance points. As the quarter reached the latter stages they managed to increase their range after Will Saunders and Francois Lewis hit a plethora of threes from beyond the arc. This proved to be highly successful for Lloyd Gardner’s team as they led by 3 to finish the quarter.
The second quarter saw more high octane action as the Giants came out of the gates and went on a 9 point scoring run that went unanswered for the first couple of minutes until Rocks guard Jordan Johnson broke the Rocks deadlock. Manchester managed to keep their noses in front for the entirety of the quarter with efficient scoring and great ball movement to find the open man. The exclamation point on this successful quarter was a buzzer beater from Josh Steel beyond the arc to give the Giants a 7 point lead bringing them one step closer to victory.
It was a similar start to the third quarter as it was in the first with a few missed possessions which was quickly silenced by a thunderous dunk by Martaveous McKnight and just like that the Giants were back in rhythm. The physicality did not stop there as Manchester’s lead was kept intact by back to back field goals from Jordan Whelan and further personified by an authoritative dunk from Team GB captain Dan Clark. The hustle continued throughout the third quarter with the Giants continuing to rack up a multitude of offensive rebounds which was a weakness of their game the first time these two teams played this season that was clearly worked on. The Giants have had a stranglehold on this game so far as they enter the final 10 minutes up by 14 points.
An electric start to the final quarter with Captain Jack Hudson and Will Saunders scoring within quick succession of each other, answered right back with a three from Rocks Guard Jonny Bunyan. This only sparked the Giants more as they berated the Scottish outfit with a barrage of three pointers courtesy of Tyrik Armstrong and Will Saunders. The scoring never ceased in this final quarter as the Giants began to run away with this fixture and put it out of reach for the Rocks as they flirted with triple digits as they took the win.
Will Saunders had a fantastic night as he finished with 21 points, hitting a staggering 5 threes from downtown. Dan Clark had an impressive night as well, flirting with a double double as he finished with 16 points, 9 rebounds and a monstrous dunk that is sure to be a highlight.
Head Coach Lloyd Gardner added ”I was delighted with the response today. It was a tough game for us against a team in Glasgow that has already beaten us twice and after the heart break of Friday night. I thought that Our energy was switched on from the first minutes and we were able to maintain that throughout. We also took care of the little areas that had been missing for us in the last couple of games”
Giants will be back at home for their next fixture as they have another derby day on their hands against the Cheshire Phoenix on November 12th at the National Basketball Performance Centre.
Words – Michael Blain
Photo – All Sports Photography