Playoff hopes still alive

fran-home-giants

BBL Championship

Glasgow Rocks 85 (28, 49, 68) (Urli 20, Northern 16, Murray 12)
Manchester Giants 80 (22, 39, 58) (Aliu 29, Marsden 16, Watts 13)

Rocks closed the gap on 8th place Durham in their push for the play-offs with a win over Manchester Giants at the Emirates Arena.

A terrific team performance helped the home side to the 85-80 victory in the first of a weekend double-header with the Giants.

The result put an end to a run of four straight defeats for the home team.

Despite a shaky opening couple of minutes for the Rocks they soon asserted themselves and took the lead – a lead which they saw through for the rest of the game, despite a late surge from Manchester.

A dominant end to the first quarter meant the Rocks led 28-22 going into the second.

All ten players had time on the court by the early stages of the second quarter, Sterling said: “I was analysing some things and change things up a little bit more. I just wanted to give some other guys an opportunity to show what they can do on the floor and they did a good job today.”

Manchester got themselves back in the game midway through the quarter as they reduced the deficit to a single point but another strong finish to the quarter gave the Rocks a 49-39 lead at the half.

The third quarter was much more even affair with the sides trading baskets before a three from Johnny Bunyan gave the Rocks a 13pt lead – the biggest of the night.

At the end of the third Rocks led 68-58.

The final quarter was another back and forth contest as the Giants reduced the Rocks lead to 5 before it was extended into double figures and then returned to 5 once again.

It was a nervy final minute for the Rocks but they held on for the 85-80 win.

Speaking after the game Sterling Davis said: “I thought it was a good team effort, everybody did their part and executed the game plan so I was happy about that.”

When asked about their play-off chances, he said: “We’ve got to put together a string of wins and do what we can do right now and after that we’ll see what happens. That’s what our plan is.”

Fran Urli had an outstanding game and led the team with 20pts/7rebs, Northern had 16pts/8rebs and Murray chipped in with 12pts.

For Manchester; Aliu 29pts, Marsden 16pts/13rebs and Watts 13pts.

Kierran Allardice

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