Patriots pick up a win in Manchester

Patriots pick up a win in Manchester

The Giants welcomed the Patriots to the National Basketball Performance Centre, with both teams searching for a fresh start after a month-long pause for the British Basketball League Trophy competition.

Plymouth forward Spencer Levi notched a double double of 14 points and 14 rebounds to help guide his team to victory.

Starting Fives:

Manchester Giants: Nicholas Lewis, Mason Bourcier, Nick Stampley, William Lee, Legend Robertin

Plymouth City Patriots: TJ Atwood, Elvisi Dusha, Joe Hart, Spencer Levi, Jacob Wiley

First Half:

Plymouth got off to an ideal start, with forward Jacob Wiley enjoying an offensive explosion straight from tip.

Wiley combined a pair of shots from beyond the arc with a mid-range jump shot to establish an 8-0 lead within the opening two minutes.

The short-handed Giants entered the game with only three players on the bench, meaning coach Brian Semonian had to lean heavily on a handful of key players.

Well, they showed up in the ‘nick’ of time. Nick Stampley and Nicholas Lewis responded to Plymouth’s ferocious start with some aggressive transition play which brought Manchester roaring back.

Just as the Giants tied the game with five minutes remaining in the half, Elvisi Dusha provided a scoring punch to re-establish a lead for Paul James’ side.

Plymouth had problems stopping William Lee, as the Manchester forward made a difference in almost every facet of the game.

Lee dominated the boards and shot confidently, dragging his team back into the game.

As the teams withdrew to the changing rooms, Plymouth held a 45-46 advantage.

Second Half:

The third quarter began in a similar fashion to the opening of the match, with the Patriots coming out with all guns blazing.

Wiley attacked with assurance, while Spencer Levi joined the party with hard offensive rebounding and physical inside scoring.

As Plymouth earned a double-digit lead, Manchester’s frustration was visible.

Already with a slim squad, the Giants were burdened with a double technical foul on Evan Walshe – who was subsequently ejected from the game.

Lewis plugged away for Manchester, but the hosts were unable to stop Plymouth, who controlled the pace of the third quarter and scored by committee to extend their lead.

Though the Giants’ starters put on a defiant display, Plymouth capitalised through bench pieces Mason Faulker and Cameron Copeland – who showcased the depth of the road team’s rotation.

The Patriots have seen leads slip away in games earlier in the season, but they refused to do so tonight.

Plymouth dominated the glass and moved the ball effectively, grabbing 12 more rebounds than Manchester and finishing with six more assists.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Patriots had re-started their Championship campaign perfectly, with a 79-93 win.

Player of the Game:

Spencer Levi combined 14 points with 14 rebounds, in an extremely well-rounded performance.

Pablo Cheeks

Photos - Ryan Lee media

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