Cheshire Phoenix vs Manchester Giants – Preview

by Vlad Ionasc

The Nix will aim to clinch the season series against the Manchester Giants in the last North West Derby of the 2020/21 season.

Last time out, Cheshire trashed Manchester, 88-70, at the National Basketball Performance Centre.

The Giants fired their head coach, Danny Byrne, on the 2nd of March and are currently on a five-game losing streak in the BBL Championship.


Date: Sunday 14th March, 2021

Tip-off: 5 p.m.

Competition: BBL Championship

Where: EPSV

How to watch: BBL Player

The BBL Player is the new one-stop-shop for all BBL action as you can watch every club and every game (excluding Bristol’s home gameslive and on-demand for £19.99 per month. Alternatively, single-game passes are priced at £4.99.

Because of how the BBL is structured, all the money from the BBL Player goes directly to the clubs, so make sure to select the Cheshire Phoenix as your ‘club to support’ when registering, as all the revenue will help carry the club through this incredibly difficult period of financial insecurity.


Photo Credit: All Sports Photography

Ploutos Vourliotis has stepped up as interim head coach following Byrne’s dismissal.

Breaon Brady and Lyle Hexom have been replaced with Aaron Geramipoor and Justin Satchell.

The Giants are currently 6-13 in the BBL Championship and 10-15 in all competitions.

The Mancunians have a 4-8 record on the road (all competitions).

Manchester’s last win came against the Worcester Wolves on the 19th of February (98-78).

As a team, the Giants average the fourth most points-per-game (82.5), however they also have the leakiest defence in the league, as they allow 86.9 points-per-game.

The Giants rank first in the BBL in overall rebounds (38.4) and second in offensive rebounds (10.8).

Opponents average 20.9 assists-per-game against the Giants (most in the BBL).

The Giants are shooting 43.7% from the floor, 30.8% from three-point range and 67.5% from the charity stripe.

Jordan Whelan leads his team in points (14.8 per game), while David Ulph is Manchester’s leading rebounder with 8.5 boards per contest.

Sam Cassell Jr ranks first in assists (4.5) and steals (1), and is Manchester’s second most prolific scorer (13.8 points-per-game).

Donovan Marshall-Johnson averages the most personal fouls per game (3.3) in the BBL.

Ulph has the highest field-goal percentage in the BBL (65.6% FG), while Cassell ranks third in three-pointers made (43).

Satchell has played six games so far and he’s averaging 13.3 points, 8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per night, while Geramipoor is averaging 15.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest, however he has only accumulated two appearances for the Giants.

The Mancunians have triumphed in three of the last five meetings against the Nix.


Photo Credit: Pmgimagimg

Manchester Giants: Aaron Geramipoor — The British-Iranian center scored 16 points on 66.7% FG in his BBL debut against the Newcastle Eagles. The 7-footer contributed with 15 points and eight rebounds on 63.6% FG in his second game against the London Lions.

Cheshire Phoenix: Jimbo Lull — Phoenix’s center missed the last North West Derby through injury, however he did play in Cheshire’s 74-84 loss against the Giants at the University of Worcester Arena, back in January. Lull tallied a 23-point, 12-rebound double-double on 50% FG in his only encounter against the Giants.

Photo Credit: Adam Day


Photo Credit: Adam Day

Ben Thomas: “Derby day is always a huge game for us. With the head to head on line there’s even more importance this time too. 

“All form goes out of the window with these games and we have to be ready for a battle for 40 minutes. If we stick to our game plan and play team basketball we will get the win and that’s exactly what we need.”


The Nix will be back in action at the EPSV on Sunday 28th of March, against the Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Championship. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.


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