BBL Championship
Surrey Scorchers 94-90 Manchester Giants (20-30, 42-52, 62-71)
(Scorchers – Payne 20, Cook 18, Raftopolous 14; Giants – Arques 23, Bankevics 20, Ulph 18)
The New Year brought both immense joy and devastating heartbreak for Surrey Scorchers and Manchester Giants respectively as Surrey managed to snatch a 94-90 win in the dying seconds of the game.
The Scorchers win continues their recent impressive BBL Championship run, picking up their third consecutive win and pushing them up the standings into fourth spot, whilst Manchester’s hopes of picking up their first Championship win were heartbreakingly foiled once again.
The Giants had previously come ever so close to picking up their first Championship win on Sunday when they fell to Worcester Wolves by just two points. This loss to Scorchers is doubly heartbreaking considering the Giants had spent the majority of the game ahead of the home side.
With five minutes remaining in the final quarter, Giants were nine points ahead of the Scorchers, but a deep three pointer from Caylin Raftopoulous, and a further two point lay in from James Hawthorne and one free-throw from Devontavius Payne, saw the Scorchers narrow the gap to three.
Del’vin Dickerson gave Manchester some hope, answering back with a two point lay up before Surrey suddenly went on a 6-0 run to give them a four point lead with just a minute of play remaining. When Giants replied with a pair of free-throws, the Scorchers fans clenched their teeth as Surrey threw up three consecutive baskets and failed to convert.
One last desperate attempt from the Giants sadly ended in a turnover to which Caylin Raftopoulous threw up a final two point lay up and converted before the final buzzer sounded.
Surrey’s James Hawthorne managed to pick up a double-double for his side, with 14 points and 17 rebounds, whilst newbie signing Devontavius Payne led his team with 20 points.