The Manchester Giants lost for the first time this season, as they were beaten 83-73 by the Glasgow Rocks in their final BBL Cup Group Stage game.

Despite a blowout victory on Friday night, the Giants couldn’t keep up with a Rocks side who came out with a point to prove, and were far more clinical than their showing in Belle Vue 48 hours prior. 

Lyle Hexom did his best to spur the Giants on as he top scored with 20, and a comeback seemed on in the fourth quarter as the visitors went on an 11-0 run to cut Glasgow’s lead to 2, but it wasn’t to be as Rocks’ sharpshooter Johnny Bunyan knocked down multiple 3-pointers to keep the home side on top. 

Although the Giants have been lethal from 3 point range themselves this season, they just couldn’t get the shots to drop in clutch moments, as Glasgow were able to pull away. Danny Byrne’s side were also hurt by the losses of top scorer Hexom as well as Breaon Brady, who unfortunately fouled out of the game after contributing a combined 32 points.

There was foul trouble all night for the away side, with Donovan Johnson also fouling out towards the end, despite the game not being a particularly aggressive one. 

Despite the loss, the Giants still finish top of Group 2 thanks to their superior points difference, and will face the Surrey Scorchers in the next round.

Head Coach Danny Byrne was disappointed by the attitude from his side going into this one: “I think we beat ourselves really, we came in too overconfident, believing their own hype, we didn’t keep our feet on the ground and stay humble. Glasgow came out and wiped the floor with us.” 

The Giants will look to return to winning ways next week, as the league campaign commences against the Bristol Flyers on Friday, followed by chance for revenge as the Rocks return to Belle Vue on Sunday.

Words: Jordan Morris

Photo: Harry Collins