‘No effort and no defence’: Jeff Jones blasts Manchester Giants after Glasgow Rocks defeat in BBL

By Phil Jones

A lack of effort and defensive application cost the Manchester Giants claimed coach Jeff Jones after slumping to BBL defeat against Glasgow Rocks last night.

In a chaotic game the Giants led by two points at half time, but Glasgow pulled away in the final period to win 82-92.

Jones suggested some players were only interested in scoring, and he is considering changing his game plan to get the message through to his players.

“Our defence hurt us, it’s killing us, they have to realise that you’ve got to play both ends,” said the veteran coach.

“There was a lack of effort, we had too many guys focusing on what they’re going to get on one end of the floor and not doing their jobs defensively.

“I think maybe I should put more emphasis on the defence and let guys that do that play a bit more than they’re playing.”

The defeat saw former Great Britain international Nick George make his long-awaited Giants debut, and Jones hopes his work ethic will spread through the squad.

“I’ve known Nick a long time, he’s extremely competitive, doesn’t like losing and he does the right things to win, which you can’t fault,” said the American.

“We were maybe a little bit too reliant on him though, we have to be able to adjust, people have to step up – but he will help us tremendously.”

And George himself was just happy to be back in his hometown and playing with no pain after a series of injuries.

“I’m in Manchester, I’m playing and I’m injury free, that’s a great situation for me,” said the forward.

“It was important for me to bring energy tonight, that’s what I’m known for, that’s what I always get signed for.

“But it’s a team effort, one person can’t do it alone, we have to realise that we all have talent and be confident, we need to work on that.”

George was signed from Swiss side Lugano Tigers, and is looking forward to helping the reincarnated Giants become a force in the BBL.

“It’ll be a three-year process and this is just the beginning, we’re ahead of schedule, I just hope we can turn this season around,” said the 30-year-old.

“The playoffs aren’t out of reach, if I believed we couldn’t make it then I wouldn’t have come here.

“But it’s clear we have the talent, it’s just a matter of getting five guys on the floor to come together and lose themselves in the team.”

That Manchester talent has been recognised by the selection of three Giants players for the England select side to play an Irish Superleague select team.

Devan Bailey, David Watts and James Jones have been chosen to play Sunday’s fixture in Birmingham, and Bailey is looking forward to the experience.

“It’s another chance to showcase what I can do, every player loves that,” said the guard.

“I’ll go there, play as hard as I can and hopefully open some eyes.

“I know nothing about the Irish team but I expect them to be semi-decent, they’ve got a decent league in Ireland so it should be a good game.”

Image courtesy of Jack Hinds Photography, with thanks.

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