Half time blast from coach Jeff Jones drives Manchester Giants to BBL victory over Durham Wildcats

By Phil Jones

Manchester Giants coach Jeff Jones revealed some choice half time words spurred his team to an 82-79 victory over Durham Wildcats – ending their seven-game losing streak.

The Giants trailed by 15 points in the second period before losing an 11-point lead of their own in the fourth, but recovered to emerge victorious.

Jones admitted his team were lucky to break their streak and bemoaned his players’ lack of consistency.

“I said a few things in particular and then I went back in and said some normal things,” said the American.

“We’re fortunate we got the win tonight, I wouldn’t have had much of a smile if we hadn’t won it.

“We had fifteen minutes of really good basketball but not a consistent 40.

“Right now we’re probably averaging around 20 minutes, which is just not enough.”

The Giants have made a habit recently of forcing their way back into games but failing to close them out for victories.

And Jones was delighted the determination and attitude was still on display, just with a little added quality.

“We took the lead in the third quarter by 11, but when you haven’t been winning it’s difficult,” said the play caller.

“The thing that has shown, even though we’ve gone through this streak, is a lot of character.

“When they went down tonight they could have just rolled over and died but they didn’t, so from that point of view I’m exceptionally pleased.

“We showed a little more composure and a little better execution than we have done.”

Devan Bailey led the Giants scorers with 20, while David Watts and David Aliu both netted 16.

Jones was happy to see Aliu and Callum Jones perform well on their return from injury, but again stressed the need to add to his roster.

“I was pleased we had the injured guys back but then we didn’t have Mike Bernard, so we still need some bodies,” he said.

“Stefan and James struggled a little bit but Devan played well and I thought James Griffiths gave us a boost on the defensive end.

“We’re hoping to bring in a couple of guys because we just need bodies and guys that can play a bit.

“That’s no reflection on the guys that are in the group now, but we just need guys with a bit more experience and some quality who can get it done.”

The win sees the Giants leapfrog Durham into tenth place in the BBL table with their next game, again at home, against Cheshire Phoenix next Friday.

Image courtesy of Jack Hinds Photography, with thanks

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