It was a difficult evening for the Manchester Giants, as they were comfortably beaten 105-81 by the London Lions.
Interim coach Ploutos Vourliotos preached during the week about working on the defensive side of the game and the Giants seemed to have taken that to heart in the early minutes, as they played some great aggressive defence to limit the Lions scoring in the paint. London are one of the best teams in the country for a reason though, and they adapted their game quickly to focus on shooting efficiently from 3-point range (43%) – something the Giants have struggled to prevent for much of the season.
Vince Macauley’s Lions went into the half up 61-42, but the Giants’ scoring throughout the first half showed that if they could make a few important stops, they could possibly claw their way back into the game. That sadly wasn’t to be however, as the reigning BBL Champions pulled away in the third quarter even further thanks to a 26-15 run as the Giants struggled to keep up on both ends of the floor. The fourth quarter was a formality as London kept the scoreboard ticking over to round out a classy victory.
Despite the disappointment of how the game went, there were some noteworthy individual performances from the visitors. Aaron Geramipoor once again showed why he was brought into the club as he finished with 15 points to go along with 8 rebounds. His fellow big man David Ulph also gave a good account of himself from the bench with 17pts and 8rebs, whilst Jordan Whelan got himself 15pts and Alex Ouandie ended up with 12pts. The big gap in the scoreline allowed Zack Powell to get a longer stretch of game time than usual, and he took full advantage with 13pts – a new career high for the 21-year-old. It was a memorable night for Joe Heyes too, as he scored his first 2 points in the BBL from the bench.
As for the home side, Kevin Ware (24pts) and Dirk Williams (23-5) were the stars of the show as they tormented the Giants all night with their excellent 3-point scoring (both shooting above 80%), which allowed reigning MVP Justin Robinson to have a quiet night (5-4-4).
‘’We have just got to chip away step by step & get back on form. Some positives out there, we started off the game really well but everyone has to come out there with their effort and energy. it’s not there for 40 mins and it needs to be.’’ Said interim Head Coach Ploutos Vourliotis
It’s another tough task for the Giants coming up on Sunday, as they take on a resurgent Cheshire Phoenix side in a derby game that has huge play-off implications.
Words – Jordan Morris
Photo – Pmgimagimg