After a three week break from action due to COVID-19, the Manchester Giants returned to BBL action in style with an 84-74 win over their local rivals the Cheshire Phoenix.
The game was played as part of a double header at the University of Worcester Arena as the Giants played on Sky for the first time as a part of the new BBL TV deal, and they certainly put on a show for the viewers.
Danny Byrne’s team came out firing on all cylinders in the first quarter, scoring 27 points and limiting the Phoenix to just 13 as if they hadn’t been on a prolonged break at all. The Nix made the game more competitive with strong showings in the second and third quarters whilst the Giants kept the scoreboard ticking over, but a sensational final 10 minutes saw Manchester outscore Cheshire 22-15 to come away with a comfortable victory.
There were plenty of great performances on the night, with double-double machine Breaon Brady being the real standout. He had a night to remember with 18 to go along with a monster 17 rebounds, to finish with a player index of 31. The entire Giants starting five finished with double figures in points, as Alex Ouandie had 17, Jordan Whelan had 14, and both Lyle Hexom and Sam Cassell Jr ended the game with 11 points. Jimbo Lull was the star performer for the Phoenix with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
The game also saw a return for David Ulph, who had missed the last few games through injury. Much like his teammates, it looked as if he’d never been away, as he contributed a valuable nine points and nine rebounds.
The win moved the Giants on to 8 points in the BBL, and keeps them well in the hunt for a playoff spot come the end of the season.
‘’It gives us that bit of momentum, we’ve got a game under our legs now. Now we can try and get a win against London next Tuesday’’. Said head coach Danny Byrne
The Giants are back in action on Tuesday, as they take on the London Lions for a place in the BBL Cup final.
Words – Jordan Morris
Photo – Harry Collins