Manchester Giants: We're still aiming for fourth place in BBL says coach Danny Byrne

Willie Clayton
Willie Clayton has scored 20 points and taken 20 rebounds in the same game five times this season.
BBL Championship: Worcester Wolves v Manchester Giants
Coverage: Live Fri 22 Mar - 19:25-21:30 BBC Sport website, app and connected TVReplay Sat 23 Mar - 13:55-16:00 - BBC Red Button, Sport website, app and connected TV

Coach Danny Byrne believes Manchester Giants could still finish in the top four of the British Basketball League.

The Giants, who reached the Cup and Trophy semi-finals this season, will improve their chances if they beat bottom club Worcester on Friday night.

"Tenth up to fourth is still anyone's at the minute," Byrne told BBC Sport. "London Royals in fourth have a tough run-in too - they could slip up a bit."

The game will be shown live on the BBC Sport website, app and connected TV.

Worcester have managed only three wins all season in the league. Manchester, meanwhile, are in seventh place and in a good position to make the play-offs for the first time since 2014 with the top eight qualifying.

"We've been in a play-offs spot for the last few months," said Byrne, whose team finished second-bottom of the BBL last season, but are enjoying their best campaign since returning to the league in 2012.

BBL Play-offs race
The top eight teams qualify for the end-of-season play-offs

"Last season was tough - I was a rookie coach and inherited a lot of players that weren't mine or I wouldn't have picked," said Byrne, who puts this season's success down to his changes of personnel.

"We've played the style I wanted to play - I like a fast-paced game and I'm a big fan of a big man in the middle - like our big man Willie Clayton."

American Clayton, 26, an example of the Giants' recruiting prowess, was found playing in Northern Cyprus and has taken the league by storm, averaging double figures for points (18.4) and rebounds (15.3) this season.

"He's a phenomenal find - he was playing in not such a good league and went unscouted," said Byrne. "We just knew he was the right fit for what we wanted to do. We've got a big man who can score inside - teams are struggling to deal with him."

London Lions head the BBL standingsexternal-link on 38 points with Leicester Riders second with 34 and Newcastle Eagles third with 30.

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