Lloyd Gardner’s men picked up a back-to-back win across the Pennines, it was the first time in three years and was done in a comfortable fashion. The Giants blew the Sharks out of the water 68 – 85.

The opening 10 minutes were arguably the quietest of the whole bout as early turnovers from both teams and inefficient shooting meant that both teams ended up using the first quarter to find their footing as it finished 18-16 with Sharks guard Jonathan Williams putting the sharks ahead with a buzzer-beater. 

Energy, intensity, and everything in between was ramped up by both teams for the second quarter as shot attempts came thick and fast, both teams finding the bottom of the hoop considerably better than before. The Giants seemed to have a slight edge on the sharks throughout as they managed to extend a considerable lead as the quarter progressed, leading by as much as 7 in the first 5 minutes of the second quarter.  The Sharks however were more than able to pull level once again until Tyrik “The Magic Man” Armstrong paid Jonathan Williams back for his earlier buzzer-beater with one of his own sending Manchester into the half up by 1 point. 

On the back of this slight advantage, Lloyd Gardner’s men came out and took a stranglehold over the game which all began with Team GB captain Dan Clark sinking back to back to back three-pointers in the space of two minutes setting precedent for what was to come. The rest of the Giants team followed suit with a combination of exquisite ball movement and efficient shot taking meant that Manchester entered the final 10 minutes up by a staggering 14 points. 

Sheffield managed to cut the lead back down to double digits in the opening minutes of the quarter. However, consistent turnovers in pivotal points led to their ultimate demise as they came towards the business end of the game with Manchester proving to be the Victors. 

Dan Clark led the team by example tonight as he finished leading the team in scoring, rebounding and assist as he culminated 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists respectively. A near triple-double. 

Martvaeous McKnight also proved to be a handful tonight as he finished with: 18 points, a pair of steals, and the team’s only block. 

Head Coach Lloyd Gardner said ”I thought we did a good job second half. In the first half, we weren’t happy with our performance on both ends of the floor, we gave Sheffield some easy opportunities. They will probably say the same thing, they missed some easy ones in the first half. I think offensively for us we were kind of a step slow in everything we did and had too many turnovers. We had 15 turnovers today. They’re tough these Friday night games but these are the ones that really count and I think we did a good job”.

The Giants will be looking to continue this white-hot run of form as they welcome the GL Glasgow Rocks to the National Basketball Performance Centre on Sunday 10th October.
Words – Michael Blain

Photo – Harry Collins