It was a disappointing day for the Surrey Scorchers as they crashed out in the first round of the British Basketball League Cup, losing 75-92 against the Manchester Giants.
Following their win last week in the BBL Championship over Worcester Wolves, spirits were high in the Scorchers camp as they approached the game. However, a cup run was dashed as a dominant performance by Willie Clayton sealed Coach Creon Raftopoulos’ team’s fate.
The first quarter saw the Scorchers come out hot as Quincy Taylor opened the scoring with an impressive solo effort to get the home side on the board. An impressive pair of threes from captain Tayo Ogedengbe saw the Scorchers edge the first quarter 25-21.
A back and forth second quarter kept things interesting as the Scorchers failed to finish off multiple chances to create a breakaway lead. Jordan Williams set things alight with a mammoth dunk but the Scorchers would have to settle going into the break trailing by one point.
Going into the third quarter, it was very much anyone’s game. However, Manchester Giants player Willie Clayton changed the game as the Scorchers struggled to find a way to deal with the big man. It was not all over for the home side as Caylin Raftopoulos had the crowd on their feet with a massive three-point buzzer-beater giving the Scorchers a chance at 63-67.
However, the fourth quarter saw the Giants run away with the game as the Scorchers continued to battle on. It was not to be as the match ended 75-92 and saw the Scorchers exit the BBL Cup.
Coach Creon Creon Raftopoulos was disappointed with the result saying, “It was not a great team performance. All week we spoke about the threat of Willie Clayton and rebounding. He’s finished the game with 23 points and 25 rebounds; he’s almost outrebounded our team by himself.”
“It’s a team thing, we’ve got to get it right. I felt we played good in spurts and then we lose our concentration. That’s been the theme for the season, so hopefully, we can fix that sooner rather than later.”
The Surrey Scorchers now must refocus and look towards a championship match against the DBL Sheffield Shark’s next Sunday in what will be an essential game for Raftopoulos’s team.
“Being a championship game, we want to get the wins up and climb the table.” Raftopolous said, “We know that home court is very important, and Sheffield haven’t had an easy go of it at the moment, so they’ll be coming here desperate.”
“But, we’ve got to start playing a little more desperate and show what we are capable of.”
The Scorchers will play the DBL Sheffield Sharks on Sunday the 5th of Novemeber.