Manchester Giants’ season took a big step forward last weekend and coach Jeff Jones is keen to keep pushing on against Esh Group Eagles Newcastle on Friday.

Giants doubled their tally of wins for the season when they closed last Sunday’s meeting with in-form Plymouth University Raiders on a 9-0 run to seal a win that was noted around the league.

Coach Jones was understandably delighted with the way his team came through such a tough test, particularly given the poise required to overcome Plymouth, who themselves have looked good in late game situations.

Jones said: “Obviously in our situation any wins are important but the manner in which we won, and the quality of the opposition made it that much more satisfying.

“The composure we showed down the stretch was particularly pleasing. I thought the second half was our best basketball of the year.”

This was true of several individual Giants performances too. David Watts and James Jones were picked out for praise with the latter being named in the BBL’s team of the week.

Eagles have traditionally been one of the BBL’s best in years gone by and that has appeared no different in the early stages of this season. Jones is well aware what a tough match-up Fab Flournoy’s men are, and knows what it will take for Giants to maintain that winning feeling.

Jones added: “It will undoubtedly be an extremely difficult game and we definitely need more of what we did against Plymouth.”

Last time they met:

Manchester Giants 98 Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 112 (BBL Championship, Wright Robinson College, 13/10/2013)

What we say:

Eagles coach Fab Flournoy (pictured): “I expect Manchester to be energetic, confident and offensively very aggressive after putting up 107 points on Sunday.”