‘No frustration’: Manchester Giants buoyant again ahead of Cheshire Phoenix battle after vital victory

In any sport confidence is pivotal to success.

Unfortunately for the Giants success breeds’ confidence and in recent weeks it appears to have deserted Jeff Jones’ ailing side.

The schedule has been tough on the Manchester outfit and despite a string of impressive performances they have encountered another difficult losing streak.

Despite the obvious talent in the team the Giants lost out against the BBL’s top title contenders and were without a win in three games heading into last weekend’s game against Glasgow Rocks.

However, Jones’ men stood up to unenviable task and finally grabbed what they deserved with a confident win at the Wright Robinson.

Now there is a real air of confidence surrounding the team, as a fired-up Giants prepare to take on north-west rivals Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday.

Coach Jones was delighted to see his team’s exponential efforts eventually rewarded and hopes the shots keep falling this weekend.

“After the double-header weekend and the frustration at the Leicester game it was great for the players to get the win they deserved,” he said after 98-87 success.

“We really just carried on from the week before and played some good, solid basketball.

“They have really become unselfish on the offensive end of the floor and we are really getting the shots we want, and fortunately they are going in.”

Of course there is much more work still be done as the Giants still sit third from bottom in league ladder.

The veteran head coach feels much of that effort will need to go toward stopping the Molten BBL Player of the Month Victor Moses.

“Defensively we have gotten a bit better but there are areas we need to improve on,” he added.

“Cheshire have certainly strengthened on the inside with the additions they have made and Moses is playing extremely well and he will be a handful for us along with their perimeter players.”

If the Giants are to pick up their fifth win at the Wright Robinson this season they would move level on points with the Nix and keep alive their slim chance of a play-off spot.

With players of the calibre of in-form forward David Aliu on the roster the Manchester side will always stand a chance.

And Aliu recognises the importance of maintaining momentum and has called on his teammates to come away with a win come Sunday.

“It’s important to try and get the win in this game as last time, at their place, we lost, so in order to really put ourselves in the Play-off hunt this game is a must,” the league’s fourth-placed top points scorer said.

“Cheshire had the big result against Newcastle recently, which if I’m honest didn’t surprise me as Cheshire are easily one of the most talented teams in the league.

“Once all that is put into a team performance they are going to be difficult to stop.”

The Nix dominated last time the two sides met in October but coach John Lavery is refusing to take the challenge lightly.

“They are playing well at the moment and Jeff has got them playing some really good basketball and putting up good numbers, which you have to do to turn the Rocks over,” he said.

“First and foremost we have to concentrate on what we want to do offensively and defensively.

“We want to get off to a good start and build some momentum.”

Image courtesy of Jack Hinds, with thanks.

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