Report: Bristol Flyers 89-92 Manchester Giants
Saturday, December 15th 2018
Bristol Flyers suffered a narrow loss at the buzzer to the visiting Manchester Giants.
Justin Gray led Flyers with 21 points and six rebounds and three huge blocks. Giants were led by Mike McCall Jr. with 21 points, whilst Willie Clayton had a huge double-double of 18 points and 20 rebounds.
Bristol got off to a high flying start with a McCloud lay-up, which was shortly followed by a Falzon three-pointer. Flyers carried the momentum to build a 21-9 lead. Unfortunately, the 12 point lead would prove to be their biggest of the game, as Giants cut the gap to 23-16 to close out the quarter.
Flyers again started strong in the second, with McCloud and Falzon sinking back to back baskets. Giants' Captain and England International Callum Jones found the seams in the Flyers' defence to spark an 8-0 run, including six points of his own.
The game remained tight throughout the rest of the half, with Vlatko Granic giving Flyers a headache inside to amass 10 points of his own in the quarter. Lewis Champion made a flurry of late scoring, pulling up for two and then following up with a three-pointer. James Jones answered with a three at the buzzer to send the teams into half-time Flyers 47-45 Giants.
The game remained close until the fourth period, with both teams trading baskets and neither team able to pull out to a big lead. Giants' guard McCall gave the visitors their biggest lead at five points with a pair of pull-up jump shots to start the quarter.
Thomas made a huge three-pointer to keep the game tight. A flurry of fouls from Champion saw him foul out of the game. To add insult to injury, McCall made a trio of foul shots as Champion returned to the bench.
An Edozie lay-up followed by another Thomas three kept it close. Justin Gray made his own trio of foul shots to put Bristol back ahead. With the clock dwindling, Thomas clattered Giants' shooter Ingus Bankevics on a three-point attempt and he made all three shots to put his side back in the lead.
A Flyers miss allowed Giants to get a three point margin and force a time-out with two minutes remaining. Coach Kapoulas’ drew up a play, which resulted in a lay-up for McCloud.
A crucial miss for Giants allowed McCloud to capitalise with a drop off pass for Edozie to put Flyers ahead. Bankevics hit a dagger three from and Flyers found themselves down two with 22 seconds remaining.
McCloud beat the defence and sank a high-arcing floater to tie the game with just seven seconds left. But Bankevics dashed the Flyers' hopes of overtime with a long-range bomb to hand Giants the win.