Giants 80-105 Flyers
The 4th and final BBL Trophy group stage game was well underway this afternoon as the Manchester Giants hosted the Bristol Flyers at the National Basketball Performance Centre.
Both teams headed into this game without a win in the whole group stage, Manchester being 0-3 whereas the Flyers are 0-2 but have a game in hand.
The last time Manchester and Bristol faced off was all the way back to December 14th which saw the Manchester Giants pick up a win against Bristol 103-80. Bristol will be looking at redemption against a depleted Giants squad whereas Manchester would be looking to hold bragging rights and secure their first win in the BBL Trophy.
Nicholas Lewis showed off his handles as he made his way through the trees for the basket, setting Manchester off the back of a couple scoreless offensive possessions, Nick Stampley knocked down a three from the corner to stop the bleeding as Bristol notched together 14 points in the space of the opening 4 minutes.
William Lee set himself off with a three ball from the elbow, he later followed that up with a 2 off the dribble in an attempt to get this Manchester Giants team ticking. Manchester struggled defensively in the opening quarter letting up 30 points in 9 minutes but with a handful of bright plays offensively such as a nasty crossover from Mason Bourcier which meant his defender had to foul him for a 3 point play the traditional way.
Bristol led 33 to Manchester’s 17 to end the quarter.
A scoreless opening minute for Manchester is ended by a hop step into a reverse lay up from Evan Walshe which subsequently halted a 5-0 scoring run by Bristol. Evan Walshe was back at it, picking up the offensive rebound and converting the second chance points. Walshe was not finished there after making a wide open 3 ball and scoring all 7 of Manchester’s points in 5 minutes of the second quarter. Walshe later turned provider as he tee’d up Nicholas Lewis for an easy 2. William Lee and Evan Walshe linked up for another 3 ball from Walshe as Lee attracted the attention in the paint and the University of Alabama at Birmingham alumni kicked it out to Walshe for a wide open shot.
Manchester continued to find success from beyond the arc with Mason Bourcier as he hit his 1st and 2nd three’s of the game to attempt to cut into this Bristol lead.
Manchester started off early with Legend Robertin down low, the Giants then followed up on this with a 3 ball and a free throw both from Nick Stampley slowly getting Manchester into this game, William Lee found his rhythm from downtown with a pair of back to back 3’s separated by a Mason Bourcier jump-shot from inside the arc. Nick Stampley carried on his hot streak from 3 with another catch and shoot maneuver from the wing to bring the lead to 21.
A pair of Nicholas Lewis free throws took a 21 point lead to 19, reduced even further by a fastbreak from Evan Walshe to 17. Jalen Harris got involved and cut the lead to 14 with a 3 ball.
Manchester were given a glimmer of hope in the 3rd quarter after outsourcing the Flyers and cutting a 26 point lead to a 15 point lead.
A much needed three from Nick Stampley followed by a basket from William Lee cut the lead down to 14 before the stoppage in play. Once play resumed it was all Bristol as then went on a 13-0 scoring run in 4 minutes of play. The run was only halted by a 3 from Nicholas lewis. Another 3 ball from Evan Walshe was all that remained in the final 5 minutes of basketball which saw the manchester Giants lose out 80-105.
During this afternoon’s game there was an injury sustained by Bristol Flyers forward Rowell Graham-Bell which resulted in the involvement of the medical team at the National Basketball Performance Centre. We would like to thank the medical team for their involvement and quick response time. We would also like to wish Rowell and his family a speedy recovery.
Mason Bourcier: 16 Points, 8 Assists, 3 Steals.
William Lee: 15 Points, 6 Rebounds, 60%3PT.
Evan Walshe: 17 Points, 9 Rebounds, 50%3PT.
Nicholas Lewis: 11 Points, 4 Rebounds, 8 Assists.
This afternoon’s game marked the end of the Manchester Giants BBL Trophy campaign. As a result, the Giants will be back in league action on February 1st at home against the Plymouth City Patriots. Tip off is scheduled for 7:45pm.
All the highlights from this afternoon’s final BBL Trophy group stage game are available to view below: