Manchester Mystics welcomed Nottingham Wildcats to ABC as both teams opened the league campaign for 2016/17.
Following a summer of tireless work, the home team were raring to go, and got of to a strong start, scoring straight off the tip. Strong defence by the Mystics was causing the visitors to commit a number of errors, with the hosts capitalising to take a 22-6 lead at the end of the 1st period.
The second period saw a revival for Nottingham, as they traded blows with their opponents in the open floor. The improved offensive showing by the East Midlanders kept them within a manageable distance heading into halftime, down 16 after a tied quarter at 19 apiece.
Mystics would rediscover their defensive intensity in the third period, as their guards constantly harassed the ball handlers of the Wildcats to limit their opportunities and disrupt their rhythm. A sustained effort saw the Mancunians restrict Nottingham to 8 points in the period, whilst scoring 16 of their own as the lead ballooned.
The final quarter was one of opportunity for Manchester, as they were able to go deeper into their bench to award valuable playing time to all players as they nursed a healthy lead. The visitors’ resurgence was not enough to threaten the result, as Mystics held on to secure a 13 point opening day victory, with the final score standing at 64-51.
Mbongeni Greg Mpofu