Giants 88-116 Phoenix
Manchester miss out as their cross town rivals wrestled a win away and do a double over their cross town rivals.
Tonight’s Thursday night action was nothing short of a good old fashioned rivalry with intensity and physical basketball which made for a spectacle for fans and neutrals alike. Tonight also saw the return of September player of the month Aaryn Rai.
A slow start from the sleeping Giants, wasted offensive possessions and allowing Cheshire big Skyler White space on the perimeter sent the Cheshire Phoenix soaring with a 12 point lead. Manchester managed to rally part way through the quarter to bring the lead just below double digits and looked to gain ground. Cheshire rallied and extended their lead back out to 14 before Nicholas Lewis let loose from three. Plenty of work to do but plenty of basketball left to play.
Giants offensive woes persisted through the second quarter with 6/14 from the field with a solid amount of their points this quarter coming from the charity stripe.
Cheshire continued a barrage of three balls as they knocked down 9/17 from beyond the arc and the Giants did not have an answer for it. Couple this with the 12/23 from inside the arc and the Giants had a plethora of defensive issues that had to be addressed in the second half.
Manchester came out the gates like a team reborn, scoring early and often in the third quarter that saw Evan Walshe slashing into the paint and drawing multiple fouls to get 6 points in the space of 3 minutes. In addition to this, Jalen Harris contributed with back to back buckets in the early stages.
Manchester put on an impressive first 5 minutes of the third quarter outsourcing the Phoenix 21-9 and looked to be on the brink of a comeback. The Giants outscored the Phoenix 29-20 that third quarter and brought down a 20 point deficit to a manageable 11 point deficit with the National Basketball Performance Centre full to the brim and Sky Sports covering the game the final quarter was set to be a spectacle.
Jamell Anderson and Darius McNeill combine for 5 points to start off the final quarter in what could seemingly look like a close game. Cheshire kept their foot on the gas throughout the 4th, making the Giants force shots through tough defence and created open looks on the offensive end in order to not only maintain the lead but also extend it out to a 28 point deficit.
Foul trouble once again appeared for the Manchester Giants as Evan Walshe fouled out in the final seconds of the final quarter. A clear personification of the Manchester Giants’ evening.
Austin Lawton: 16 Points, 2 Blocks.
Jamell Anderson: 15 Points, 45% field goal.
Nick Stampley: 10 Points, 6 Rebounds, 5 Assists.
Next up on the Giants calendar is an away trip to the Sheffield Sharks. Tip off is on Saturday 4th November at 8:00pm. The game will be available to stream on the British Basketball League YouTube channel.
Highlights from tonight’s game are available to view below: