Martyn Gayle Delighted with 'Incredible' First BBL Win -

Martyn Gayle Delighted with ‘Incredible’ First BBL Win

Manchester Giants’ new signing Martyn Gayle celebrated his debut on Sunday with his first-ever victory in the BBL after his new-side defeated Worcester Wolves.

It had been a long time coming as the shooting guard endured a frustrating first season in the BBL after going 0-33 with his hometown club Birmingham Knights.

“It was just incredible,” Gayle said of his first win. “It was such a great feeling to win a game, especially against such a tough team.”

The 93-83 win against the Wolves was a second statement victory for the Giants having also defeated Sheffield Sharks the previous week. And Gayle believes his side can take a lot of confidence from the success whilst paying tribute to the Trafford Sportsdome fans.

“We believe we can beat anybody,” he stated. “We know that we can compete with the top teams and we’re finding a way to win games.

“The support has been immense. The fans were right behind us from the first minute and at pivotal times, which is what we feed off while other teams shy away from it.

“We’re playoff contenders for sure but we know if we play to our full potential we can secure a top spot.”

After releasing Jamie Kohn, the Giants snapped up Gayle along with Latvian guard Ingus Bankevics with both players having already been amongst the squad for pre-season. And the 2013 Birmingham Sportsman of the Year is relishing the chance to be back playing in the BBL.

“This is what I’ve been training for. I’ve always wanted to play at the top level and it’s great to be able to play with and against players I looked up to when I was growing up.

“I’m already used to things having been training for a while and that has helped me settle in, especially getting the chance to play the pre-season game, too.”

Last season, Gayle netted a total of 84 shots from downtown – 5th most in the BBL – and further bolsters the Giants attacking threat from deep joining the likes of Stefan Gill and David Watts, who were the top two most-accurate 3-point shooters last campaign.

And the 25-year-old didn’t waste time showing his range with a couple of triples in an 11-point debut, but he feels there is more he can bring to the table.

“I’ve always been a 3-point threat, but I want to distribute the ball a bit more and really step up on my defence to prove I can bring more than just offence. I pride myself on my energy and I will continue to do that whatever role I play for the team.”

Gayle becomes the third player from the Birmingham Knights squad to remain in the BBL while Josh Rolls-Tyson and Glen Izevbigie have both landed contracts in Germany.

Plymouth Raiders snapped up top scorer Brent Benson early on before adding Emile Hopkins and Gayle admits the fixture against his former team-mates is one he’s got his eye on.

“I’m really looking forward to playing Plymouth because they have a few players that were on my team last year and Emile (Hopkins) is one of my best friends so that will be a fun match-up.”

You can check out highlights of Gayle’s first BBL win in our Week 2 round-up here.

Image credit: Jack Hinds Photography

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