Report: Manchester Giants 81-83 Bristol Flyers
Sunday, April 25th 2021
Bristol Flyers clinched a BBL play-off spot with a courageous comeback win on the road over Manchester Giants.
Eric Lockett played all 40 minutes and led the team with a 19 point, 10 rebound double-double.
Giants backcourt of Jordan Whelan and Sam Cassell Jr. were effective early, while Flyers looked to their big men, Marcus Delpeche and Justin Baker. Josh Rogers brought efficient bench scoring, tying the game at 11, before Whelan pulled Giants ahead. A three from sharpshooter Ben Mockford put Flyers back in the lead, but outside shooting from Manchester gave them the edge after one quarter, 26-24.
Flyers upped their defensive intensity and stops facilitated a 6-0 run forcing a Giants time out. Rogers was able to draw a foul on another three-point attempt and do further damage at the foul line. Raphell Thomas-Edwards elevated over the Giants defence to redirect a miss and Flyers finished the first half ahead 42-43.
Cassell Jr. and Whelan were irrepressible through the early part of the third quarter and Coach Kapoulas looked to end a Giants run with a timeout midway through the quarter. Lockett sliced through the Giants defence and completed a lay-up through contact, finishing his three point play at the foul line, which was quickly followed by a shot from beyond the arc the next time down the floor. Jack Hudson drove and dished to longtime teammate Ulph under the basket for an easy finish to make it 62-59 with one quarter left.
Flyers were forced to sit both Rogers and Baker due to foul trouble and fielded a big lineup with Delpeche and Edozie in the frontcourt. Manchester pulled ahead with another Cassell Jr. three-pointer, but Lockett drove to the basket and Thomas-Edwards found Delpeche for a thunderous dunk.
Delpeche made a huge play, redirecting a missed free throw to Wilcher at the top of the arc for a triple. Whelan responded with a mid-range shot, but Mockford kept it close with a high arcing left handed layup. Mockford tied it up at 75 with a huge three-point shot.
Lockett was able to run the floor and get a good look at the basket. Delpeche was fouled under the basket and knocked down both his shots. Another three from Mockford opened up the Flyers lead to six points and forced Coach Lloyd Gardener into a timeout.
Lockett found Delpeche in scoring position to keep it a two possession game. Another contested three from Cassell Jr. cut it to two points. Flyers could not connect on their last offence but forced Cassell Jr. into another tough shot at the buzzer with Lockett siezing the rebound and the crucial win.