Thanks to 46 points from their bench, with 22 of those coming from Evan Walshe, the Giants toppled the Flyers 103-80 at the National Basketball Performance Centre.
Trejon Jacob led Bristol with 20.
Manchester Giants starting five: Legend Robertin, Jalen Harris, William Lee, Jamell Anderson, Nicholas Lewis.
Bristol Flyers starting five: Tevin Olison, CJ Jackson, Raphell Thomas-Edwards, Rowell Graham-Bell, Brad Greene.
Despite a solid start from Jamell Anderson, who scored Manchester’s first six points, the hosts struggled to execute their offence. However, so did Bristol, with both teams shooting under 42% from the field in the first five minutes.
Even though they were shooting 38% from the floor, the Giants took the lead at 14-13 thanks to a three from William Lee, as their fast-break play paid off.
That was part of a 12-0 spurt from Manchester as they caught fire, going 6/10 from three-point land.
It was an excellent first period, especially from Walshe, as he hit ten points off the bench, going 4/4 from the field in just two minutes, which included a score on the buzzer to give his side a 35-19 lead after one.
Manchester’s double-digit lead blew up to 43-21 with less than two minutes played in the second as they couldn’t miss from range, leaving the Flyers no choice but to call a timeout.
During the break, Bristol coach Andreas Kapoulas urged his players to get their confidence back and through Jacob, they attacked the Giants’ defence and got to the basket.
But all the confidence and momentum was with Manchester, with Walshe at the heart of it all. He had 17 points in the first half as the hosts easily got to their spots, leaving the Flyers grounded.
Trailing 62-37 and losing Tevin Olison to an ankle injury during the first half, the Flyers had their back firmly against the wall, but refused to throw in the towel as they slowly chipped away at Manchester’s advantage.
Bristol created better looks for themselves, resulting in baskets, but unfortunately for them, the Giants kept the scoreboard ticking along to maintain their plush cushion.
Still able to own a big lead going into the final period, Manchester looked comfortable, withstanding a brief blip in the early stages of the third, where the Flyers had their positive spell.
The visitors threatened again and, thanks to a three-pointer from Pasquale Landolfi, narrowed the deficit to 80-60, the closest they have got to the Giants’ lead since the halfway mark of the second quarter.
However, it didn’t last. The home side regrouped and improved to 6-12 while Bristol fall to 10-10.
Player of the Game
Evan Walshe was more than a bright spark off the bench, he was a guiding light, going 5/8 from the field and 11/12 from the foul line for his 22 points. He threw in four rebounds and four assists for good measure.