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Report: Manchester Giants 79-69 Bristol Flyers

Bristol Flyers ran out of steam in their second game of the weekend, falling to Manchester Giants by ten points away from home.

Justin Gray led all scorers with 25 points with an extremely efficient 75% accuracy from the floor. Tevin Falzon added 14 points and seven rebounds.



Flyers got off to a well balanced start with Gray, Falzon, Fred Thomas and Lewis Champion all getting early baskets. Giants were able to edge ahead of the visitors with scoring in the paint from Torry Butler and Willie Clayton.

Bristol hit a cold stretch and Coach Kapoulas made a series of substitutions to shift the momentum. Mike Vigor was able to grab an offensive rebound from a missed free throw and turn it into two points to enervate the Flyers’ offence.

Jordan Nicholls followed up with a three-pointer to level the score; Nicholls again stepping up for additional minutes with Jalan McCloud still recovering from a heel injury. A last mid-range shot from forward Vlatko Granic saw Giants claim the quarter 17-15.

Ingus Bankevics delivered a painful reminder of his long range accuracy to open the second period. Giants were able to keep growing their lead until Falzon took charge with a trio of buckets and a big block.

Willie Clayton continued to trouble Flyers in the paint, hitting a lay-up then converting a second chance opportunity. A timely and-one play from Gray through contact from Clayton helped narrow the gap for Flyers. Marcus Delpeche was next to step up for Flyers, hitting from the mid-range then drawing a second foul from Clayton and making both free throws to tie the game.

Giants answered with a Granic slam dunk, but Gray knocked down a three-pointer before Falzon completed a three point play the other way. Champion finished out the quarter strong with a pair of made free throws to put Flyers up 34-38 at the half.

Clayton came out aggressive in the second half, netting a quick five points to put Giants back in the lead. With the two teams trading baskets, Gray made a big defensive play, elevating and swatting away a shot from Butler.

Gray continued to hit from long range, keeping the score close throughout the third period. A Granic foul sent Gray to the line and Coach Danny Byrne picked up a technical foul. Gray converted two out of three free throws and hit another huge three to put Flyers ahead 55-59 heading into the final quarter.

Nicholls was able to break through the defence to make a driving lay-up. Thomas followed with a huge transition dunk and a pull-up jump shot. An unsportsmanlike foul from Bankevics sent Falzon to the line to hit one of the two foul shots.

From there onwards, Flyers offence dried up completely and Giants put together a devastating 15-0 run to claim the win. Mike McCall Jr. rattled off a fast five points to tie the game and trigger a Flyers timeout.

Bankevics drew a charging foul from Gray to stifle the next offence and quickly made another score. Clayton extended the lead with a lay-up and Coach Kapoulas took another timeout.

Another turnover followed, but Vigor was able to reject the resulting shot attempt. Panos Mayindombe entered the game to try to give Flyers’ more secure ball handling but the turnovers continued and with the visitors’ offence sputtering, Giants sealed the win with a last basket from Butler.