Manchester Giants’ Ingus Bankevics knows that his side will have to put in an exceptional performance to win at Newcastle Eagles on Friday.
Yorick Williams’ side have won just one of their last 11 games to leave them second bottom of the BBL championship table.
Bankevics knows that against undefeated Eagles on Friday a special defensive performance will be needed to improve this form.
“We need to play defence at 101%, but we know it will be tough,” Bankevics said.
“Newcastle are a really good team, all their players know what they need to do. It’s hard to play against them, they punish all your mistakes.
“We cannot let them get easy shots, and second-chance points, and we have to keep our turnovers down.”
Bankevics has been impressive for the Giants recently despite their poor form, and he grabbed 16 points in last weekend’s defeat against Cheshire Phoenix.
That game almost marked the end of the Giants losing run and they were 11 points up with seven minutes to play, but Phoenix’s late rally clinched the victory.
Giants’ task this week is made even more daunting by the fact that their opponents the Eagles have won 100% of their games this season.
Reigning BBL Champions Eagles also have an incredible record against the Giants, having won every game between the teams since Giants returned to BBL in 2012.
Newcastle have also scored more than 100 points in each of their last four games against Giants, including their 119-81 victory less than two weeks ago.
Despite Giants’ terrible run, Eagles forward Andrew Thomson spoke of the tough opposition his side will face against Yorick Williams side.
“Giants play at a high tempo and like to play physical,” Thomson said.
“They’re one of the smaller teams in the league when it comes to size, but they use that to their benefit as they can spread the floor and use the space.
“It’s a tough cover as you don’t want to get into a scoring race with this team, so it will be key for use to dictate the tempo from the start.”
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