An undermanned Giants fell to back-to-back defeats as injuries hampered their weekend efforts.
Danny Byrne’s men put in a solid performance against Newcastle Eagles on Friday night, despite being without James Jones and Torry Butler, going down 93-85.
And, while they fought all the way in the North East, Sunday’s BBL Trophy semi-final with London Lions saw fatigue begin to take its toll.
Butler returned with a strapped-up wrist but the visitors claimed a 101- 74 victory in the first leg of the last-four contest.
It means the Giants have something of a mountain to climb in the second leg at the Copper Box on Thursday, when they need a 28-point win to progress to the final.
🎥 Vlatko Granic (@vgranic32) gets the long three to go and we're cutting this deficit – he leads our scoring.
— Manchester Giants 🏀 (@McrGiants) February 10, 2019
Ingus Bankevics led a brave Manchester effort on Friday, leading the team with 21 points, while Willie Clayton had another double double (18 points and 18 rebounds).
The table-topping Lions are on a roll and, with a deep, well-resourced squad, went into Sunday’s semi opener as favourites.
They broke out into an early lead with a 30-12 first quarter and never looked back.
The visitors built up a 30-point advantage at one point but, though the Giants kept going and cut it to 13 early in the fourth, the Lions eased over the line behind a 28-point performance from point guard Justin Robinson.
Vlatko Granic, only just back from illness, led the way for the Giants with 25 points, 12 of which came from three-point range. Mike McCall had 18 and Callum Jones 15.