Glasgow Rocks outclass opponents to make winning start to season
ONE down, 32 to go. Glasgow Rocks made a victorious start to the new British Basketball League campaign last night as Sterling Davis’s revamped side crushed Manchester Giants 90-56.
As a barometer for what might lie ahead over the next eight months, it provided only hints rather than concrete evidence. Their hosts, expected to be the also-rans of the top flight, offered little sustained resistance after the Scots had surged emphatically ahead at the Trafford Sportsdome with a 15-2 run in the opening period.
Yet there were promising portents from the game-high 21 points accrued by Davis’ headline summer capture Neil Watson and a consistency throughout the game that was so often lacking last term, even against outclassed opponents.
After leading 45-31 at half-time, Glasgow turned the screw by holding their hosts scoreless for more than five minutes and firing 10 straight points to sweep clear.
Turnovers were forced and seized upon with 26 of the Rocks points coming off Manchester’s mistakes. Although Australian forward Lewis Thomson had a torrid debut by missing all of his 10 shots, compensation came in the performance of Anthony Elechi. The American rookie, seen as a diamond in the rough, was polished in adding 16 points and 10 rebounds and the kind of hustle that will no doubt have done much to earn the trust of Davis as he formulates how his team will shape up in the weeks and months ahead.
And despite the waste of 10 missed free throws, the Rocks kept rolling as the Giants challenge shrunk, closing the clash with a relentless 32-8 burst that underlined the gulf in ambitions.
Reigning BBL champions Leicester Riders began their title defence with a double on the opening weekend of the season after holding off Worcester Wolves 77-66 while Newcastle Eagles, who visit the Emirates Arena next 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB. email: email@example.com. Tel 0141 302 7156 Head of Sport Stewart Weir Sunday, beat Cheshire Phoenix 99-85. Meanwhile, the league is set to confirm a deal later this week to stream several games each month on subscription service livebasketball.tv, in addition to a handful of contests being shown by the BBC.
BBL. Manchester Giants 56 Glasgow Rocks 90, Leicester Riders 77 Worcester Wolves 66, Leeds Force 79 Sheffield Sharks 58, Plymouth Raiders 87 Surrey Scorchers 63, Cheshire Phoenix 85 Newcastle Eagles 99. Saturday: Surrey Scorchers 58 London Lions 69, Bristol Flyers 85 Plymouth Raiders 80