Report by Daniel Gilfoyle. Image by Mark Ferriss

The Caledonia Gladiators pick up a dominant win on the road against a thin Manchester Giants side!

Winning 93-71 Caledonia pick up their third road win of the season behind Patrick Tapé’s 19 points and nine rebounds.

Coming into this game, the Gladiators were out for revenge as the last time the two teams met at the National Performance Centre, a controversial goaltend/block call gave the victory to Manchester. 

In that game, Prince Onwas was the game MVP, scoring 16 points and grabbing ten rebounds.

Three of the league’s highest scorers in David Sloan (19.7) and Manchester’s Dirk Williams (18.8) & Tahj Green (19.0) faced off but it was Patrick Tapé and Jeremiah Bailey who got the most points, 19 points and 18 points respectively. 

Tahj Green wins the tip for the Manchester Giants before William Lee scores a contested lay-up, Ramon Fletcher gets a lay-up moments later to get off to a quick 4-0 start.

Gladiators head coach Gareth Murray calls a timeout after two and a half minutes due to the Giants gaining an early 10-3 start, Jeremiah Bailey with a free throw & a Patrick Tapé lay-up to get the Gladiators on the scoreboard.

For the remainder of the first quarter, Manchester was the dominant side – better shooting, passing the ball better, rebounding better, an overall low quarter for the travelling Gladiators.

Despite being down as much as 18, the Gladiators fight back to trail by 11 with the score being 31-20 by the end of the opening 10 minutes.

Similar to the first quarter, the Gladiators struggled to get into the rhythm of the game that the hosts were setting, even going on a three-minute scoring drought.

The way the Gladiators were going to get back in the game was to step up and hustle defensively, leading the league in fast break opportunities. With this mindset, the Gladiators chipped away at the large deficit, getting a poor first quarter out of the way and controlling the last few minutes of the half, bringing the score to 44-40 with two minutes to go in the break via two Jonny Bunyan three-pointers. The first half finished 48-42 with the Gladiators up six.

Despite trailing in all departments for most of the game stats in the opening half, the Gladiators find themselves being the more efficient side in Manchester, 20/41 (48%) to the Giants 16/40 (40%).

Tap had an enormous first half, 17 points, six rebounds, an assist, a steal and two blocks, putting up end-of-game numbers.

The Gladiators started off the third on the wrong foot, with a turnover and a Roberson lay-up for the Giants to get them off the board, but after the mishap from David Sloan, the Gladiators went on to increase their lead to eight points.

For the ten minutes, the teams traded baskets meaning the Gladiators kept their lead close to their chests with Manchester not being able to chip away at it.

Fahro Alihodzic got the game to double figure but with 11 seconds left, Ramon Fletcher hit a three to make it a seven-point game going into the final quarter, a crucial last quarter. 64-57 was the score.

In the fourth, the Giants didn’t show up, only scoring 16 points to Caledonia’s 27.

The visitors’ lead was pushed as far as 22 points, a Tapé hookshot to reach that margin.

Al Durham got the lead back to 20 but Dirk Williams got a layup for the Giants to give the travelling Caledonia Gladiators a 91-73 road victory.

Patrick Tapé scored 19 tonight on an exceptional 8/9 (88%) shooting, including a rare three-pointer. The Ivory Coast international also had nine rebounds, an assist, two steals and three blocks, dominant in the paint tonight on both ends – awarding him the game MVP.

Jeremiah Bailey also had an off the charts game, with 18 points on 6/14 (42%) from the field with a team-high 11 rebounds to accompany six assists, five steals and two blocks.

The two recent pickups also had great games to help ease them into the set up after the game versus Bristol, Al Durham with 15 points and Fahro Alihodzic with 12 points, the latter of which showed up against two old friends from his London Lions days, coach Vince Macaulay and teammate Dirk Williams.

The Gladiators are back at home on Sunday, hosting the Sheffield Sharks at the Emirates Arena. Get your tickets HERE!