Giants 109-69 Patriots
The Manchester Giants hosted the BBL’s southernmost club at the National Basketball Performance Centre on Friday night, racing away 109-69 winners against the Plymouth City Patriots.
Rookie Tajh Green’s sensational triple-double with 19 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists was the pick of the bunch in a dominant 40-point win on home court for the Giants.
On a night where the Belle Vue crowd saw Nate Robinson finally return after an extended injury absence, the Giants blew the Patriots away on the offensive end with Anthony Roberson and Rahmon Fletcher also adding 22 and 25 points respectively.
Three thunderous dunks in quick succession from Green made the Giants’ offensive intentions clear, as they raced out to a seven-point lead at the end of the first.
And when the second period got underway, it was the turn of Dirk Williams to heat up as he added half of his 18 points on the night.
Struggles from the free-throw line were the Achilles’ heel for the visitors in the first half, making just eight of their 15 attempts from the charity stripe.
The Patriots were not without their own offensive threats though, as the crafty handles of Jules Dang-Akodo and relentless athleticism from James Hawthorne Jr. for a pair of putback dunks kept the Giants’ defence on high alert.
But the relentless offensive weaponry of the Giants – bothin the paint and beyond the arc - proved too powerful and at the halftime buzzer they were comfortably ahead with the score at 60-41.
The Patriots would continue to fall away from their opponents in the second half, and fluid play from a Giants team brimming with offensive chemistry made for comfortable viewing for coaching team Vince Macaulay, Nigel Lloyd and Paul Cantwell.
Free throw shooting on the night was another positive takeaway after well-documented struggles this season – Giants shot a solid 83%from the line, swishing 20 of their 24 attempts.
Legend Robertin took a hard fall in the third and would not return to the game, but was involved in the post-game warm down and back on his feet by the end of the night.
With the game heading into the final quarter there was no let up from the hosts, with all five starters reaching double digit scoring.
Green even had time to run at point guard for a few possessions, once he was told during a timeout that he was just one assist away from a maiden career triple-double.
With just under six minutes to play, the Benedict College alumnus and Rookie of the Year candidate found Roberson in the paint, who used some smart footwork to find a layup and give his teammate a coveted tenth assist.
Fans rose to their feet in elation to celebrate a fan favourite’s special moment – and it came in a resounding victory for the league’s best offensive outfit who are now averaging 90 points per game.
The Giants now look forward to Sunday’s matchup, where they will head north to Glasgow to face the newly-crowned BBL Trophy Champions Caledonia Gladiators at 5.00pm.