Manchester Giants look to complete their preparations for next week’s British Basketball League season kick off with their final pre-season game against Irish side Templeogue this Saturday.
In their last encounter, the Giants showed signs of promise in their 94-92 defeat in overtime at the Lucozade Powerleague Trafford Sportsdome against a USA select side.
Following the loss, head coach Yorick Williams reaffirmed his desire to analyze his squad before the season kicks off, and pinpointed the importance of the Templeogue game in doing so.
“I’ve still got a few players that I’ve identified to come in and not everyone got an opportunity to show what they can do, but we have another game on Saturday.”
Williams will be hoping more of his players can step up and make an impact like Olu Babalola, who introduced himself to the Trafford Sportsdome crowd with a sensational shooting display against USA select, hitting five three-pointers.
Babalola, 33, has won BBL championship, Cup and Trophy medals with Sheffield Sharks, Mersey Tigers and Newcastle Eagles, and Coach Williams believes the 6ft 6ins star has the key qualities to help improve the Giants this season.
Williams said: “I have known Olu a long time and know him as an experienced, talented player and a winner.”
Templeogue, founded in 1976, will aim to stop Babalola and company however, and prove themselves a tough test against the Giants, with their assistant coach John Walsh believing his side has the pedigree to contest an exciting game.
“Last season, in only our second season at Premier level, despite a poor start to the league due to injuries to a couple of key players, we finished the season really well with a record of 11-7 and finished the regular season in third place in the league,” said Walsh.
“At the end of season top four play-offs. This coming season we are expected to make a serious challenge to win some silverware.”
Tickets are a cut-price £5 (adults) and £2 (juniors). Under-5s are free. Pay on the door or book your tickets here.
Image courtesy of Jack Hinds Photography, with thanks.