Glas­gow Rocks out­class op­po­nents to make win­ning start to sea­son

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FINAL SAY - MARK WOODS

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: sport@the­herald.co.uk. 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.

RE­SULTS

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

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