A disastrous performance saw Leeds Force decimated in the clash of the roses, suffering a heavy 94-62 defeat against fellow strugglers Manchester Giants at Trafford Sportsdome on Friday night.
Former Force threat Ingus Bankevics immediately haunted Leeds with a basket inside the first second, as the struggling Giants looked to quickly assert themselves over their basement-battling rivals.
Shell-shocked Force looked to be wilting under the pressure – as the unstoppable Bankevics mercilessly poured on points and quickly ripped open a five-point advantage for Manchester.
Determined Leeds kicked into life mid-way through a desolate first quarter, with British-American guard Adrian Kuyinu landing a vital triple to haul Force back in contention.
Force’s struggles to contain the fiery Bankevics continued as the quarter progressed, before a timely treble from Leeds skipper Isaac Mourier snapped Manchester’s momentum.
A similarly frustrating second segment saw the Giants’ swarming defence suffocate the faltering Force – enough to see Manchester prise open a double-digit lead as Leeds’ chances of victory hung by a thread.
Jerelle Okoro’s thunderous throw-down electrified the home crowd and crushed Leeds’ resolve – enough see Manchester charge into an emphatic 21-point half-time lead against a sorry Leeds team out of ideas offensively.
A pair of long-range threes from Eric Curth and new signing Gazmend Sinani offered Leeds a glimmer of hope to open the third quarter – revitalising and awakening the dreary Force from their first-half slumber.
Sporadic scoring from Sinani kept Leeds ticking heading into the final 10 minutes, but the dynamic scoring duo of Callum Jones and David Kadiri maintained Manchester’s comfortable advantage with a quarter remaining.
Force’s failed third-quarter comeback left them unable to cling onto Manchester’s coat-tails – submitting to a relentless’ barrage of threes as Giants emphatically stormed to a crushing win over rock-bottom Leeds.