GAME REPORT: Giants secure first win at Emirates as Rocks falter in third

Glasgow Rocks 83 – 101 Manchester Giants

Match report by Alan Caldwell

A close encounter for most of the game at the Emirates Arena between Glasgow and Manchester, however, it is the Giants who come away with the win after taking the lead in the third quarter, despite a strong first half performance from the Rocks.

The first quarter started off at a fast pace with both teams scoring back and forth adding early points on to the scoreboard, however, it was Julius Van Sauers with the Rocks first two points in the contest as his quick first step, got him an easy layup in the lane, which was then followed up by a block and a driving layup from Boban Jacdonmi, who looked to continue to be a threat at both ends of the floor.

The Rocks energetic start to the first quarter only continued from here on, as Jonny Bunyan found a wide open Fraser Malcom, looking to take advantage of the opportunity to play in the starting line up, it was him who hit the teams first three of the night, which he then followed up with a driving layup of his own, to give him a quick four points.

Despite the fast start made by the Rocks, it was important to continue putting on the pressure and playing with the same pace as Glasgow lead the game 23-15 with two minutes left in the first quarter, despite coach Murray sitting out the action in this one.

The first quarter ended with the Rocks leading the way 28-21 as the Giants looked to close the Glasgow lead down as much as possible, it was Marc Kwedi who hit a buzzer beat three right at the end of the quarter to extend the Rocks lead.

Now on to the second quarter, it was the Giants who opened up with a quick jump shot then a three pointer to cut the Glasgow lead down to just two. However, the Rocks responded with a three of their own, it was Jonny Bunyan, who hit his first three of the night which was then followed up by Jacdonmi who finished at the rim again, making him the first player to get to double digit scoring on the night as he had 10 points mid-way through the second quarter.

Not too far behind him was Fraser Malcom, who hit his second three of the night to maintain Glasgow’s slender lead on the game and give him a quick 10 points, taking full advantage of his chance in the starting lineup.

Despite this, Manchester started to claw their way back into the contest, slowly cutting down the Glasgow lead, it wasn’t until the last three minutes of the second quarter going into the interval when the Giants retook the lead, going up 41-40.

However, determined not to let Manchester get momentum in the game, it was Jonny Bunyan, who converted a three point play after being fouled on a jump shot, before Fraser Malcom found him wide open to hit his second three of the game, giving him a game high 12 points at halftime, as the Rocks regained their lead 50-47 after the first two quarters.

Going into the second half, it was Manchester who started the quarter off better, their inbound lob finished by Ulph who then added another two points from a layup in the paint, gave the Giants early momentum in the third quarter.

Despite this, it was Jonny Bunyan again, who hit a corner three pointer giving him his third on the night as he continued his impressive scoring and shooting in the game, but this wasn’t without answer from Manchester, who came right back with a three of their own, as both teams geared up for a close encounter down the stretch.

Going into the fourth quarter, it was the Giants who had real motivation and incentive of getting a lead and controlling it. With four minutes left in the third quarter it was Hudson who was fouled on a three point attempt which he then converted the free throw for the four point play, to give the Giants an 8 point lead.

Things only got worse for the Rocks, as Manchester opened up a quick 10 point lead in the game, giving them their biggest lead of the night so far.

This was cut down by Fraser Malcom who was fouled on his three point attempt though still made it, giving him his fourth three of the night, before converting the free throw and completing the four point play. However, it was the Giants who lead the game 77-64 going into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter started 5 apiece in scoring with both teams adding points on to the scoreboard early in the final quarter after the Giants out scored the Rocks 30-14 in the third.

It was still possible for the Rocks to mount a comeback, however the shots just wouldn’t drop for Glasgow and where dropping for Manchester, making it difficult to cut down the deficit with time running out.

Despite this, the Rocks continued to fight back and cut away at the Giants lead, it was Isa Brandon with a layup to cut the lead down to single digits in the game, however, Manchester continued to score baskets down the stretch and the shots just wouldn’t fall for Glasgow as Manchester end up winning this contest at the Emirates Arena 101-83.

Four Rocks players finished in double digit scoring, with Jacdonmi leading the way on 19, closely followed by captain Jonny Bunyan with 18.

Next up for the Rocks is another home game at the Emirates Arena on Sunday against the Newcastle Eagles for a 3pm tip-off.

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