Knights beaten by Magic
This week the Birmingham Knights faced the Manchester Magic in their second pre season game. Unfortunately for the Knights they didn't manage to make it a 2-0 start to their pre-season as they fell to a 70-81 defeat to a spirited Magic side.
Martyn Gayle led the scoring for Birmingham with 18, whilst Josh Rolls-Tyson bagged 16 and Emile Hopkins chipped in with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The game was kick started with Knights' Forward Rolls-Tysons' mid-range jumper, as he put up the first 4 points for the team.
This led the teams' momentum to play at a strong steady pace throughout the first half, eventually seeing them trail by 5 points at half time, 32-37.
Throughout the third quarter the Knights continued to strive to bridge the gap on the scoreboard. Manchester Magic were struggling to keep the Knights down, as they couldn't quite pull away.
As the game continued the Magic were proving to be tough opponents, despite the contrast between the two teams' league status.
As the fourth quarter started, nothing seemed to go quite right for the hosts as the Magic pushed to open up a bigger gap. Manchester managed to work their way around the Knights defense as they continued to punish the Knights' stuttering fourth quarter efforts.
The Knights' hopes were dented late in the game as Hopkins collided with Magic's Conor Porter, seeing him hit the bench after fouling out with the score 57-67 in favour of the visitors.
It was crunch time for the Knights to try and regain some level footing as Martyn Gayle stepped up and hit a much needed 3-point shot as the race against the clock was on.
As the clock wound down the Knights started to intentionally foul to try and rescue the game, but the Magic used this to their advantage as they shot well from the charity stripe to quell the Knights' efforts.
Unfortunately the Knights couldn't bridge the gap as Manchester finished strongly, with the final score 70-81 to the visitors.
Coach Paul Douglas had this to say after the game:
"I think we got what we deserved actually because we were architects of our own mistakes. Where they went to capitalize and make their baskets we had the same type of shots and we missed them.
"I think you learn a lot from loses anyway, we've learned a lot from this game and we just take it and move forward to the next one."
"There are no more easy games, that's just the way I've scheduled it. We need to prepare ourselves and get ready for these types of dogfights that we're going to have throughout the course of this season. You know there is no point in having easy games; the hard games will tell you what we're lacking in."
Martyn Gayle was also looking forward to having the extra firepower going into the Knights' opening BBL season:
"We're looking good, when we get our imports in, they're looking fantastic, I think they should be here in the next few weeks so when they come in we should be looking like a real good BBL outfit.
"It's going to be a real team ethos for us, we don't have anyone that's going to score forty or fifty points so we all have to chip in and we all have to do our part."
By Shanice Nugent
The Knights have also strengthened their squad of local talent, with 6'8" forward Josh Rolls-Tyson. For the last two years Josh has been studying and playing for Butte Community College in California where he average 10.8ppg and 5.8rpg. Josh also won a cap for the Great Britain U20 squad and was top scorer (18.3ppg) in National League Division 2 for Birmingham A's, before heading out to the USA.
Josh has proven to be a solid player who throughout his two years at Butte he has improved in his mid-range and long-range shooting and defensively uses his quickness and length to stay in front of his opposition and defer shots. Offensively, he is a consistent and smarter scorer, finishing strong with either hand at the basket. He is a great passer and receiver, has strong handles. Josh is a great leader, communicator and team player.
Josh had this to say about signing with the Knights: "I'm very excited to have signed with the Birmingham Knights, not only do I get to represent a city which raised me but also play alongside great talent whom I've played with and/or against in previous years. My two years at Junior College in California (USA) has been a great training ground; not to mention the three challenging on-going months of pre-season workouts Coach Douglas has orchestrated. He is a great person and Coach who I enjoy working with, has a tangible personality and great vision for the success we can achieve. The coaching staff, team and I are dedicated, poised and ambitious about this season. This is a great opportunity for Birmingham, Basketball, and all of us taking part so be sure to come support your Knights!!"
The Knights continue their BBL pre-season against Dublin Thunder on the 7th September, with tickets available in advance from www.birminghamknights.co.uk or £6 cash only on the door for adults and any children over 5 years of age.