BBL Trophy, First Round
Manchester Giants 75 (27,44,58) (Bankevics 25, Jones 21, Attah 10)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 91 (27,50,68) (A Thomson 21, Martin 18, Smith 16)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle began the defence of their BBL Trophy title with a 91-75 victory away at Manchester Giants.
Andy Thomson scored all of his 21 points in the first half to help keep the winning streak going for the Eagles as they set a Quarter-Final clash with Cheshire Phoenix.
Manchester kept pace with the free flowing offence of the BBL Championship leaders in the opening quarter with the game tied at 27 at the end of the period.
A Charles Smith 3-pointer sparked a breakway run for the Eagles in the second, but their lead only grew to six points heading into the break. However, their advantage quickly surpassed double figures when play resumed for the second half as Joe Chapman netted twice from downtown.
The Giants were down 10 at the end of the third and there was no way back, despite a spirited opening to the game. Ingus Bankevics led the resistance with a game-high of 25 points.
Adding to Thomson’s 21 points, Molten BBL Player of the Month for December, Scott Martin contributed 18 points and Smith had 16 as the Eagles continue their momentum ahead of next week’s BBL Cup Final.