Sport

Manchester Giants’ Mike Bernard wants win to kick-start play-off push at Glasgow Rocks

By Phil Jones

Veteran centre Mike Bernard hopes a win at Glasgow Rocks can kick-start Manchester Giants’ BBL play-off push as they return to action on Sunday.

The Giants have not played since losing to London Lions on February 24, but Sunday’s game marks the start of six in three weeks as the regular season concludes.

And needing to jump one place in the table, Bernard insists the Giants’ play-off hopes won’t be over, whatever the result against Glasgow.

“This game could be the real change, win or lose it’s still in our hands to make the play-offs but this game could change the mentality of everybody,” said the 34-year-old.

“It’s never over until it’s mathematically impossible, every team has to win to stay where they want to but teams are going to lose.

“Not everyone will stay where they are now, other people’s losses could fall in our favour.”

The Giants have recorded just one away win in 14 attempts this campaign, and that came at the expense of BBL whipping-boys Mersey Tigers.

Bernard believes a different mind-set and making the most of winning positions is the key to Giants success on the road.

“Our approach on the road and how we’ve tried to finish games when we’ve had momentum needs to change,” said the 6ft 8in centre.

“We have to capitalise on the momentum we have but sometimes we’ve gone away from it, it’s backfired and we’ve got down on ourselves.

“This game’s the one we’ve really got to try to win though to set the tone for ourselves.”

Having already suffered two losses to fourth-placed Glasgow, Bernard said the squad have spent their prolonged break working on how to combat the Rocks’ strengths.

“We had a problem with Sterling Davis’ mid-range jump shot so we’ve been working our defence around that,” he added.

“Everything else falls into its place, it’s just about trying to cut out the little things which make them a good team.

“We’ve practiced well over the three weeks and had a couple of days off to get rid of some injuries, we’ve just tried to work hard.”

Picture courtesy of Jack Hinds Photography, with thanks

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