Giants continue their winning ways as they grind out a hard fought victory in overtime against Plymouth City Patriots 99-93.
Lloyd Gardener’s men take a trip down south to the Plymouth Pavilions to face the newly formed Plymouth City Patriots in the BBL championship.
It was a slow start opening quarter for Manchester as a Dan Clark hook-shot opened proceedings for the Giants 3 and a half minutes into the quarter. In this time Plymouth had established a 7 point lead through Graham-Bell, Okoroh and Josephs. Manchester managed to regroup to a certain degree and started to pull the game back as a few shots started to fall courtesy of Jordan Whelan, Martaveous McKnight and Geno Artison. Plymouth continued to manage to get to the hoop and finish in contact and with second chance points to carry their lead into the second quarter 22-13 both teams only making one three each all quarter.
Giants get into the scoring groove in this second quarter through a fast-break wide open lay up from Josh Steel as they started to gain some steam and slowly claw back the Plymouth lead. A strategically called time out from Plymouth halted Manchester in their tracks as the Patriots continued to plug away, get to the basket and extend their lead to double digits. Manchester managed to regroup and started gaining traction against the new BBL outfit through scores courtesy of Martaveous McKnight, Jamell Anderson, Jordan Whelan and Dan Clark brought the Giants back within touching distance of the lead as both teams head into the locker room with Plymouth up by 2 with the score being 36-34.
Two successive baskets from Dan Clark and Tyrik “The Magic Man” Armstrong set the Giants off and running for the third quarter where defence was the main priority for Lloyd Gardner’s men. Plymouth continued to get to the basket for two’s causing trouble for the Giants as Ubiaro and Josephs scored from all three levels keeping the Giants away from a lead change. Plymouth have had the better of Manchester in all three quarters as they enter the quarter up by 5.
Both teams entered the final quarter with all to play for. The lid seemed to be firmly on the basket for Manchester as they struggled to convert their shots from all three levels to open the final quarter of play. As play progressed Manchester remained within touching distance of Plymouth through stellar defensive efforts from the entire team as both teams entered the final few minutes only down by a few possessions as Martaveous McKnight gets and shoots a wide open three as the defence shuffled across to cover Dan Clark. McKnight’s three brought the Giants one point away. The Giants took the lead with 1 minute and 28 seconds left courtesy of some fantastic ball movement and a floater from Tyrik Armstrong. Kofi Josephs goes back down the other end and hits a three to bring the Patriots back out in the lead by 2 with a free throw conversion to make it a 3 point lead. Dan Clark silences the Pavilions with a three ball with 0.9 seconds left to send both teams into overtime.
Overtime carried the same intensity and energy as the previous few quarters as the depth in the Giants bench proved to be too much for the Patriots. Will Saunders makes a corner three to give the Giants a three point lead which they managed to keep and regain for a majority of overtime as they managed to keep them and Plymouth separated. An Adekunle lay up brought the Patriots back within 1 only to be silenced by a Jamell Anderson dagger plunged into the hearts of Plymouth fans.
Tyrik Armstrong had a brilliant scoring night as he finished with 20 points with 70% efficiency leading Manchester in scoring. Geno Artison also finished with a double double 10 points and 10 rebounds. Dan Clark and Martaveous McKnight also finished with 18 and 16 points respectively.
Head Coach Lloyd Gardner said “There are a lot of lessons from this game. The way we started slow affected our momentum however it will be the way that we finished this game that is encouraging.
The end of the regulation and in overtime. We can take that into the GB break and go again next month”.
The Giants have an extended break until December 5th when they face the London Lions at the Copper Box Arena.
Words – Michael Blain
Photo – Paul Nicholson