BBL: Rocks edge Giants in Cup thriller

The Glasgow Rocks claimed their first win at the new Emirates Arena with an 88-85 victory over the Manchester Giants in their BBL Cup clash on Sunday.

It wasn’t exactly plain sailing for the Scottish side who at one point, were in danger of allowing the game to slip away. They also had to survive an open three-point attempt by David Aliu in a pulsating and dramatic finale as the Giants’ forward failed in a last-ditch bid to force overtime.

As the majority of fans inside the Arena held a collective breath, they soon burst into joy as Rocks made up for their disappointing home debut against Newcastle Eagles seven days earlier.

The opening quarter was an intense affair and that theme would continue, although it was during the second period when Giants made a potential game-winning run with a quite devastating 19-5 burst to take control at the break.

Leading 40-33 when they stepped back onto the court, the Giants generally maintained their advantage, although a big three-pointer by Gareth Murray kept the home side within touching distance.

At the end of the third quarter, the downtown bombardment continued with a flurry of triples as Great Britain forward Kieron Achara hit successive shots from outside for Rocks to level matters at 62-62, only for James Jones to also convert from the perimeter to give the Giants a 65-62 lead going into the fourth quarter.

It was always looking like it would go until the last few seconds and so it proved.However, the Giants and Devan Bailey in particular, will be disappointed at missing far too many free-throws, the guard missed four in a row inside the last two minutes and it proved to be costly.

EJ Harrison was the star performer for the Rocks and fittingly, he was the man with the composure during crunch time to get the Rocks safely over the line and set up a last eight encounter at One Health Sharks Sheffield.