Surrey Scorchers overcame a tricky Manchester Giants side on Friday evening to secure an 84-83 win in dramatic fashion at Surrey Sports Park.
A closely fought battle saw the lead exchange hands at numerous points of the game, only for the hosts to nip ahead in the dying seconds and take their first home win of the season.
Giants looked the favourites on paper before the clash, taking two wins from two into the game. But after their first week of practise as a full roster, Scorchers had a new level of optimism before tip-off against a side they knew a win was possible against.
A shaky start from the hosts saw them trail by 9 points mid-way into the opening quarter thanks to a defensive rebound and 3 pointer from Babalola. 4 successive free throws from captain Tayo Ogedengbe dragged back the deficit briefly, but it was the visitors who would take the advantage into the first break thanks to a long haul buzzer beater from former Surrey man Sam Attah, which even brought applause from the Scorchers faithful.
Andreas Schreiber and DJ Felder came out of the blocks quickly in the 2nd quarter, followed by Surrey boy Henry Wilkins bagging his first 3 points of the game. Scorchers went on to secure an 11 points to 1 run in the period, which pulled them right back into the game. A Schreiber 2 briefly handed them the lead but Giants pegged back level for a 41-all half time score line.
Giants did their best to hold an advantage over Surrey throughout the 3rd quarter, but the hosts were not giving up. Will Neighbour made sure that a 5 point run didn’t cause lasting damage with a 3 from down town, but again Manchester peaked with a lead of 8 to worry the vocal home crowd. Another buzzer beating 3 points this time from Babalola handed the visitors a shaky 58-61 lead heading into the final quarter.
The period started largely in the same fashion as the previous three. Bankevics extended Giants’ lead to 4 points but it was at this point with 7 mins remaining that Scorchers charged. Neighbour completed two straight 3 pointers to put the scores level at 70-all, before a Schreiber 3 gave Surrey their first lead since Q2. The tables had turned and it was Manchester’s time to do the pegging back, as the scores sat level on 80-all with 42 secs remaining.
Webster and Bankovics edge the visitors ahead with a dunk and 2 from the line, only for the mental strength of Ogedengbe to shine through and pull back the defecit to a single point with 13 secs on the clock. A personal foul by Babolola on Desmond Lee handed the US import two chances to seal the win. One in and the scores were level. Two in and Scorchers had the lead, and the win, with 8 secs left. Final score- Surrey Scorchers 84-83 Manchester Giants.
Scorchers are back on the road this Friday when they head to Yorkshire to face Leeds Force in a 7.30pm tip-off.
The boys then return to Surrey Sports Park in two weeks for their debut in the BBL Cup, when they host the London Lions in a 7pm tip-off.