Sport

BBL double-header win would save our spirits, says Manchester Giants playmaker Devan Bailey

By Sarah Brook

Young playmaker Devan Bailey believes a solid performance this weekend will turn the atmosphere around in the Giants’ camp as they face their first double-header of 2013.

Giants will be looking to strengthen their BBL Championship play-off hopes as they host high-flying Surrey Heat tonight at Wright Robinson College.

With new addition Nick George making his second appearance for the side, Bailey admitted he could be the difference between winning and losing this weekend.

“The atmosphere is not great in the camp considering our record, but there isn’t any doubt of turning that around,” he said.

“Nick will help us with every game and this weekend it means that someone will be kept below their average per game.

“As a team we will stick together through any rough patch we may find ourselves in during the games.”

Giants rollercoaster of a season has not gone unnoticed and star player David Watts admitted the mental challenging his side of keeping it going.

“It has been a real test of character, after going through a losing streak and losing narrowly in games we should have won,” the forward said.

“It’s hard to maintain focus and drive with so much negativity.

“We have to stay mentally tough and focus on things that could help us close out these close games.”

With play-offs and positions within the team at stake for the BBL-new-boys, both Bailey and Watts admitted coach Jeff Jones has stepped up the intensity of training.

“People are now fighting for positions so it just means we have to practice harder.

“It’s lifted the intensity of practice a lot which means everyday people are competing probably harder than in games,” Bailey said.

“Jeff has made practice more intense these last few weeks and its really making our defense more aggressive,” Watts added.

After Heat, Giants will focus their attention on Saturday’s match against UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders.

The Manchester boys will make the long trip down to Devon to face fourth-place Raiders, who will be looking for their third win against the Giants this season.

Tip-off is 7.30pm tonight.

Image courtesy of Jack Hinds Photography, with thanks.

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