Twenty Wins for Giants

Manchester Giants have made it 20 wins in all competitions in the 2021-22 British Basketball League (BBL) season – beating league-leaders Leicester Riders 85-83 on Sunday – which is the most wins in a campaign since the club returned to the BBL in 2012.

Currently sitting second in the BBL Championship table with an 11-8 record, Giants also started the season by topping the BBL Cup North Group and making it all the way to the BBL Cup Final in front of a record 10,000 fans live on Sky Sports at Utilita Arena in Birmingham – winning eight games in that competition in all, as well as one in the BBL Trophy.

In the Giants’ tenth season back in the top flight after a hiatus of over a decade, the current feat surpasses the success of the 2018-19 team, which won 19 games in all competitions, featuring the likes of current player and all-time leading points scorer Callum Jones, alongside imports such as Mike McCall Jr – infamous for a record-breaking 50-point game in victory over Worcester Wolves – and Willie Clayton, who broke the BBL’s all-time rebounds per game record.

The current Giants boast numerous Great Britain internationals such as national team captain Dan Clark, Jamell Anderson, Josh Steel and Will Saunders; around a core of local talent including club captain Jack Hudson, Callum Jones, Jordan Whelan, David Ulph and Kingsley Nwagboso; along with American stars like Tyrik Armstrong, the team’s points and assists leader, Martaveous McKnight, Geno Artison and Francois Lewis.

That group will look to go one better and propel the club into the Play-offs for the first time since 2013-14, a 15 win season, and beyond the opening round for the first time since returning to the league.

The last time that a club bearing the Giants’ name won 20 games or more was in 2000, under the stewardship of now NBA Champion Head Coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors. That team won the Northern Conference and the Play-offs, and boasted the league MVP Tony Dorsey alongside Phil Handy, current Assistant Coach at the LA Lakers.

Captain Jack Hudson added  ”20 wins this season is a really good milestone for us, I think coming into the season the expectations we set upon ourselves were to reach 20 wins and beyond and hopefully we can have a successful season” 

Words – Tom Fletcher

Photo – All Sports Photography