Giants given rude awakening by Lions as they fall short 107-80.
After a 2 week break the Giants were back in action against the London Lions in the nation’s capital.A scoreless opening minute by both teams that was not short of spectacular defensive displays kept the teams close in the early stages. Once Jordan Williams hit a mid-range jumper the floodgates opened. A slugfest from both teams firing and sinking shots from all three levels with defence being put on a back-burner. The Lions managed to take the lead in the first quarter through a plethora of blocks from Dirk Williams, Jordan Williams and Julian Washburn. The barrage of shots continued and Manchester saw themselves down by 13 by the start of the second quarter.
With a mountain to climb Manchester knew they would have to up their defensive efforts in order to reduce the gap which they began to do through a pair of free throws from Dan Clark and a tough lay-up from Tyrik Armstrong. They were successful in their defensive attempts as they managed to reduce the gap to just 10 until Dirk Williams hit a buzzer beater. Ultimately it was a lower scoring quarter for both teams in comparison to the first quarter Jamell Anderson is showing off his scoring prowess in this first half with 13 points, leading the Giants in scoring as they head into the locker room down 51-37.
The third quarter proved to have some issues for Manchester in the form of their three point conversion. They only managed to convert 5 threes in the first three quarters out of a possible 27. With this happening they opted to convert to the inside game in order to keep up with Vince Macauley’s side which also meant crashing the offensive boards as well racking up a whopping 13 offensive rebounds to London’s 9. Manchester’s shooting struggles hindered them as they fell behind by as much as 24. The Giants managed to take a chunk out of a 24 point deficit as they headed into the 4th quarter 79-60.
Despite their best efforts from a lively and energetic Manchester side they were unable to further reduce the lead size in the final quarter of play as the 20 or more point gap resurfaced with the final score being 107-80 in favour of the London Lions.
There were positives to take from the loss however as Dan Clark had a spectacular outing in the capital as he finished with 17 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists and a pair of steals leading Manchester in all four categories.
Assistant Coach Ploutos Vourliotis Said It’s always going to be tough coming to London, even with the full team and coach at the helm. It is what it is and we take each game as they come. Whatever we have we go with and that’s what it is. They’re a great team, they are coming off the back of a bad performance against Newcastle in their eyes and we were the victims unfortunately.
Now that rust is shaken off from a 2 week hiatus the Giants can now prepare for a trilogy of games against the Glasgow Rocks. The first match on December 10th will see the two teams in BBL championship action. The second and third games of this best of three bout are to be played in the BBL cup semi final. The first and third games to be played at the National Basketball Performance Centre whilst the second game involves a journey to the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.
Words – Michael Blain
Photo – Flo Alalade