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Manchester Giants 72-87 Worcester Wolves

Worcester Go Second in BBL

Last Updated: Oct 13, 2015 06:22pm
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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Worcester Wolves bumped themselves up to second place in the British Basketball League after a battling 87-72 win on the road at Manchester Giants on Sunday.

Despite missing reliable forward Javier Mugica through injury, and with no replacement yet in place for departed guard Malik Smith, Wolves’ still had enough depth to secure their third win of the new season.

The match remained poised until just before half-time when a late flurry of scoring put Worcester 41-34 in front of their hosts. Apart from a couple of spells where Manchester’s Stefan Gill and Ingus Bankevics lit up from three-point range, Wolves were never greatly troubled thereafter.

Ashton Khan opened the afternoon with a long-range success before former Worcester guard Callum Jones replied. A confident slash to the basket from Wolves’ centre Perris Blackwell delighted travelling supporters in a first quarter that ended with his side trailing by a single point.

Within the first four minutes of the second period Bankevics had already slotted home a triple of three-pointers. However, with his team-mates denied any easy routes to the basket, Wolves were able to stay in contention. With less than two minutes until the interval, the match was tied at 33-33. A double of scores from ex-Manchester forward Ben Eaves sandwiched one from Jay Couisnard, and, once Khan had intercepted an errant Giants’ pass and galloped to the bucket, significant daylight had been established between the teams.

The third quarter saw Worcester dominate the area around both baskets. Pavol Losonsky was able to dance to a series of scores, with Blackwell able to succeed on multiple trips to the free throw line.

Ahead at 65-48 entering the final ten minutes, emerging Worcester guard Disraeli Lufadeju rattled home seven quick points and there was a chance for Jordan Dawes to tally his first points in a Wolves’ vest with a double of foul shots.

Blackwell and Losonsky led the Wolves’ scorers with 20 and 19 points respectively.

Coach Paul James was pleased with the victory, saying: “Any win on the road is a really good win. We were a little nervy at times, but we played through it. We played better today than we have in any game up to now.”

Wolves return to the University of Worcester Arena this Friday, 16 October, to host Glasgow Rocks.

“They will be tough. It took us until the fourth quarter to break the game open last time we played Glasgow and I expect the same to happen again,” added James.

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