MATCH REPORT: Revenge over Rocks for Manchester

Report: Manchester Giants 86 Glasgow Rocks 66

By Craig Anderson

Glasgow Rocks fell to Manchester Giants in the opening league game of the season, losing by 20 points on a disappointing night for Gareth Murray’s men.

Lyle Hexom put up 28 points for the Giants as they followed up their opening night win at Bristol Flyers to lead the way at the top of the BBL table.

Manchester set the tone for the night by racing into a 13-4 lead at one point, with Julius van Sauers with three and a single for David Mpondo.

Rocks hit their hosts with eight points without reply, closing the gap to just one, including a van Sauers three-pointer to make life a little more interesting.

By the end of the first quarter, the gap was at two in favour of the Giants, despite Mpondo making the most of his two free throws after being fouled by Alex Ouandie.

Glasgow enjoyed a great start to the second as Marc Kwedi picked up three points nine seconds after the restart, followed by Isa Brandon’s dunk, putting them three points up.

A few minutes later, both teams were tied at 21-21 before Manchester added 11 points to Glasgow’s one to open up something of a lead as the minutes ticked down heading for half time.

Just when it seemed like Rocks were starting the claw back the deficit, Manchester would find the hoop again and by the midway point, were 12 points ahead at 41-29.

The third quarter was the high scoring of the game, with 45 points between the sides and it was Glasgow who edged it, picking up 23 of those points.

Mpondo (8) and Van Sauers (6) led the way in the scoring, but with Giants successful with three treble pointers, it did nothing to help Gareth Murray and his men in trying to turn the contest around.

The Rocks stayed within 10-12 points in the fourth and final quarter and again, it was a case of Giants pulling ahead in response to Glasgow scoring.

Four points each from Breaon Brady and Sam Cassell Jr opened up an unassailable lead for Manchester, from which the Rocks couldn’t recover despite their best efforts.

Although Brandon picked up the final seven points to make him Rocks’ top scorer on the night with 15, it proved to be an excellent win for Danny Byrne’s men.

As for Glasgow, it’s another trip on the road, with Bristol Flyers playing host for the first meeting of the season between them, giving coach Murray some food for thought in the week ahead.

The game can be watched again in its entirety on the BBL Player.