Sport

‘Big’ Ben Eaves calls on Manchester Giants to cure travel sickness after away weekend of woe

By Phil Jones

Athletic forward Ben Eaves believes Manchester Giants can still make the BBL play-offs if they solve their away woes after two defeats over the weekend.

Eaves’ double-double of 15 points and ten rebounds could not help the Giants as they lost 84-59 at table-toppers Leicester Riders on Saturday.

That came 24 hours after defeat in Sheffield, leaving the Giants with just one away win all season and five of eight remaining games on the road.

“The road has been our Achilles heel, but we’ve been in some close battles – losing nail-biters in Glasgow and Cheshire,” said ‘Big’ Ben Eaves.

“We went to Worcester and didn’t perform but we’ve got to go back there so we’ve got chances to improve on what we’ve done.

“It’ll be a case of day to day taking care of practice, then going into the games fully prepared.”

The reformed Giants were without star forward Nick George for the midlands trip as he missed the game for ‘personal reasons’.

But Eaves said they only had themselves to blame for the heavy defeat after keeping the Riders honest during the game’s middle periods.

“We shot ourselves in the foot but it was encouraging that the team was good after adversity against Sheffield, we bounced back from that,” said the 25-year-old.

“We played hard, we just didn’t play smart. Leicester are an experienced team, do a good job of executing their system and grind teams down over the course of 40 minutes.”

Friday sees 11th placed Giants take on Cheshire Phoenix with both teams focussed firmly on a top-eight spot and the end-of-season play-offs.

Phoenix sprung a surprise at the weekend, beating high-flyers Newcastle Eagles, and Eaves is looking for inspiration ahead of games against their closest rivals.

“There’s a lot of teams around us beating good teams and helping themselves out, but it’s still so tight,” he added.

“You don’t lose sight of the play-offs. If we look at each game individually then we struggle, but we’ve got Cheshire on Friday – take care of that and move on to the next one.

“If we can get in some quality wins down the stretch then of course we can still make the play-offs.”

Tip-off for Friday is 7.30pm at Gorton’s Wright Robinson College.

Image courtesy of Jack Hinds with thanks.

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