by Vlad Ionasc
The new-look Cheshire Phoenix will meet the new-look Manchester Giants in the opening game of the BBL Cup (pool stage) this evening.
Danny Bryne has shuffled his team around and brought in some talented players over the summer, however this will be the first time that we’ll see his side in action, as the Giants didn’t participate in any pre-season games.
Date: Sunday, November 8th, 2020
Tip-off: 5 p.m.
Competition: BBL Cup
Where: EPSV (behind-closed-doors)
How to watch: FREE on our YouTube channel!
GIANTS SCOUTING REPORT
Only Jack Hudson, David Ulph and Zack Powell have returned ahead of the 2020/21 season.
The Giants re-adjusted their roster during the summer by adding Jordan Whelan, Lyle Hexom, Breaon Brady, Sam Cassell Jr, Donovan Johnson, Alex Ouandie, Charlie Britton and Joe Heyes while letting go of Ingus Bankevics, James Jones, Allie Fullah, Del’vin Dickerson, Eduard Arques, Ronalds Elksnis and their emblematic captain, Callum Jones.
The Giants failed to get off the mark last season as they accumulated precisely zero wins during the regular season, so they’ll be desperate to start the new season with a W.
The Mancunians have only obtained three victories in the last 10 North-West Derbies, with their last triumph dating back to the 11th of January 2019.
Manchester Giants: Breaon Brady – The Akron-born forward is perhaps Manchester’s most high-profile player, apart from Sam Cassell Jr. Brady spent his last two years of college at the University of Houston in the American Athletic Conference, where he started 67 of the 70 games that he took part in. The 6-foot-8 forward received limited playing time during his time as a Cougar, but he is expected to take up a bigger role in the BBL. He will be tasked with slowing down the likes of Jalen Hayes (who obliterated the Giants last season), Sol Rolls-Tyson and Eric Hamilton tonight.
Cheshire Phoenix: Eric Hamilton – The Pitt alum didn’t cover himself in glory last week, as he made just one of his 10 attempts from the field in Phoenix’s pre-season loss against the Leicester Riders, but context matters here. Hamilton only touched down in England around four hours before tip-off so he hadn’t practiced with the team at all and was visibly jet-lagged, so we’ve got to cut him some slack. The 6-foot-9 forward/center did grab 11 rebounds against the Riders, which was very encouraging. Just like Brady, Hamilton played limited minutes during his lone year as a Panther, so it’ll be interesting to see how he adapts to playing a bigger role with the added expectation of coming up with big plays in the pro game.
Ben Thomas: “Tonight’s game is the first one that really matters and we know these games against Manchester are always a battle.
“We’ve had a great week in training and we hope to see the things we’ve been working on today.
“We’re ready to get off to a great start in the BBL Cup!”
NEXT HOME GAME
The Nix are scheduled to take on the Glasgow Rocks at the EPSV in their last pool-stage game on the 22nd of November.