BBL Trophy Quarter Final
Manchester Giants 71 (19,36,62) (Aliu 23, Jones 16, Marsden 16)
Glasgow Rocks 73 (22,46,58) (Murray 24, Urli 14, Davis 12)
Glasgow Rocks advanced to the BBL Trophy semi final at the expense of Manchester Giants, taking a 73-71 victory on the road at the Wright Robinson College on Sunday after Gareth Murray’s game-winner.
It was the second victory for Rocks against the Manchester club this weekend, as the Scots came out on top in the Championship game on Friday as well.
Cheered on by the home crowd, Giants got off to a powerful start, taking a 12-2 lead within a couple of minutes from tip-off, hinting at a possibility of a very different outcome than two days in Glasgow.
However, the visiting Rocks had other ideas. A 16-3 run, which included a pair of three-pointers by Sterling Davies allowed the guests to turn the double-digit deficit into a 22-19 edge after the first quarter.
By the end of the half, the gap had increased to 46-36, with Rocks taking advantage of opponent’s turnovers and scoring well in transition.
A spectacular scoring display by David Aliu in the third quarter saw the script flip again, as the 32-year-old forward scored 15 points in the period to give Giants a 62-58 advantage before the last quarter.
Rocks retook the advantage in the final quarter and led 71-66 coming into the last minute of the game, but a pair of free-throws by Rob Marsden and a three-pointer by David Watts tied it all up at at 71-all with 24 seconds remaining.
However, Rocks’ forward Gareth Murray had the last say, making the game-winner with 9 seconds to spare. Aliu had a chance to win it for Giants, but his three-pointer fell short.
The Rocks will now face the Cheshire Phoenix in a 2 leg Semi-Final (Home and Away) with the dates of the fixtures to be confirmed this week.