The Leicester Riders travel to Manchester this weekend to face the Giants in their third game of the season in the newly formatted BBL Cup. The Riders will be looking to build on their successful opening weekend as they aim to take their record to 3-0
Manchester Head Coach Danny Byrne is in his third season with the club, and is looking to replicate last years’ form, with recruiting meant the Giants had their best season in recent years, after a number of inconsistent seasons since their return to the BBL in 2012.
The team is built around two local British brothers, captain Callum Jones, and shooting guard James Jones, sons of former Manchester player and head coach Jeff Jones. Experienced Latvian 3 point shooter Ingus Bankevics also returns.
The Giants three gifted Americans from last year have headed for pastures new, but they are replaced by Americans Jonathan Mulmore and Del’vin Dickerson, alongside Spaniard Eduard Arques and Dutch forward Manou Cristal Malalu. Malalu is 6 foot 8 inches and played last year in Italy. Mulmore is a 6 foot 4 inch point guard who played in Brazil last season. Arques previously played in Germany. Mulmore was missing last weekend awaiting a visa.
Another new recruit is veteran big man Phil Kelly Brandreth, and 6 foot 7 inch forward Daniel Pilkington former captain of Manchester Magic in National League Division 1. Pilkington had one season in BBL with Mersey Tigers in 2012/13.
Season so far – Giants
The Giants were under-strength last week and suffered two defeats in the BBL Cup, at home to Glasgow 96-80, and away at Sheffield Sharks 95-61.
Season so far – Riders
Riders made the perfect start to the season, beating Sheffield at home 77-54 before travelling to Cheshire on Sunday securing their second win of the weekend 75-63 in another solid team performance.
Ones to Watch
New recruit Delvin Dickerson was top scorer for Giants last weekend scoring 21 points and pulling down 6 rebounds against Glasgow, and scoring 17 points with 8 rebounds against Sheffield.
For the Riders, Josh Ward-Hibbert confirmed that his starting position was well deserved with a pair of double-doubles in points and rebounds last weekend and that earned him a place in the BBL Team of the Week.
Next Home Game
The Riders return to the Morningside Arena on Friday October 4th against the Newcastle Eagles. CLICK HERE to get your tickets as the BBL Cup Group stages continue.