Sport

Manchester Giants’ Stefan Gill won’t give up hope on play-off dream despite Glasgow Rocks defeat

By Sarah Brook

Dynamic point guard Stefan Gill believes Manchester Giants must continue to play with pride after another defeat on the road saw their dream play-off spot fade away.

Gill’s 16 points could not help rescue the Giants as they lost 83-65 to third-placed Glasgow Rocks.

With Giants play-off hopes now determined by other results in the league, Gill is refusing to give up on his team and believes there may still be a light at the end of the tunnel.

“We have to play with pride not just for ourselves but for the fans and franchise,” Gill said.

“I think we still have a shot. As long as there is time on the clock anything is possible in a basketball game.

“We have to give it everything we have when we step on the floor.”

After a two-week spell away from the court, Rocks took full advantage of Giants’ rusty start and dominated the first quarter 25-9.

Although Giants pulled the deficit back to four in the second quarter, Gill admitted his team shot the ball poorly.

“We never adjusted quick enough, the few times we did, we got back in the game,” the 30-year-old said.

“Glasgow average around 84 points per game and they met their quota, meaning we failed as a team defensively.

“It’s a game of runs, we just have to limit theirs and capitalise on ours, which we didn’t do.”

Losing twice previously to Rocks, Gill said his side were well aware of what Glasgow were going to do and although they prepared, poor execution got the better of them on the night.

“We had prepared thoroughly for it but all the preparation can be in vain if we don’t execute it on the floor,” the 5ft 7in player said.

“I think collectively we sometimes get our heads down at the time we need to pull together and believe.

“Individually my spirits are up. I am focused on the next game, as a team, I think we need to do the same.”

Top point score David Aliu could not even prevent Rocks in the final quarter, who burst away with an 11-2 gap to seal the win.

Tenth-placed Giants now have to focus their attention on next week’s crucial fixture against Worcester Wolves.

“We need to play like we are still in with a shot and at the professional level, there just needs to be a collective effort to execute our game plan and the results will follow,” Gill added.

Picture courtesy of Jack Hinds Photography, with thanks

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