Manchester Giants will be ‘energetic, confident and very aggressive’ – and that’s just the Eagles’ manager talking

By Alex Rea

As Manchester Giants gear up for a challenging weekend of matches coach Jeff Jones is calling on his side to continue their resurgent form.

After picking up just their second win of the season against Plymouth last weekend the Giants travel to the North East to take on title challengers Newcastle Eagles tonight.

The Eagles are just two points off the top of the league and humbled the Giants when the sides met last month.

“It will undoubtedly be an extremely difficult game and we definitely need more of what we did against Plymouth,” he added.

His opposing number Fab Flournoy echoed that sentiment: “I expect Manchester to be energetic, confident and offensively very aggressive after putting up 107 points on Sunday.”

One of the standout performers for the Giants this season has been Rob Marsden and the summer signing continues to flourish after a string of defiant displays.

The 26-year-old is adamant that despite the poor start to the season the Giants are now firmly on track to begin climbing the league ladder.

“Newcastle are very strong as we found out earlier in the season, they have a strong rotation of players with a lot of talent,” he said.

“But we also believe we have a lot of tools and are beginning to put them all together.

“All road games are difficult, and Newcastle away will be very tough. A tough challenge but not one we will roll over easily for, we will give them our best fight.”

After producing a rousing late display to beat Plymouth University Raiders last weekend Jones is hoping that this weekend’s double header brings more glory.

After the Giants take on Newcastle they host pointless Surrey United at the Wright Robinson on Sunday..

“Obviously in our situation any wins are important but the manner in which we won, and the quality of the opposition, made it that much more satisfying,” Jones said after forward David Aliu inspired a remarkable 107-99 victory.

“The composure we showed down the stretch was particularly pleasing.

“I thought the second-half was our best basketball of the year,”

Aliu top scored with another impressive 25-point haul and the performances of David Watts and James Jones earned them a spot on the BBL’s team of the week.

In complete contrast, Sunday’s visitors United have had a catastrophic opening seven games as they continue their search for a win this campaign.

The tie does not make good reading for the travelling team who were comfortably beaten by the Giants last time the sides met in the 2012/13 season.

Having been in a similar position themselves – the Giants lost their opening five games – Jones says the Giants must remain focused when facing struggling Surrey.

“I have seen some game tapes of them and from our perspective we have to not be complacent and continue to improve,” the American coach said.

For more information on everything Giants, including how to purchase tickets for Sunday’s game visit

Image courtesy of Jack Hinds, with thanks

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