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The Caledonia Gladiators claimed a vital victory in the BBL Championship after a hard-fought battle against the Surrey Scorchers in Guildford. After a tight loss against Leicester Riders the night before, the Gladiators were determined to build towards their top 4 spot in the league standings as the season enters a crucial point.

Despite a scary-looking ankle injury in the previous game, Prince Onwas made his return to the court for Gareth Murray’s side. The visitors came into the game sitting in fifth place, while the Scorchers were in last place, but they had picked up some form recently thanks to the addition of Josh McFolley, who has been averaging over 21 points per game.

The first quarter saw the teams trade baskets throughout, with the Scorchers taking a slim one-point lead after ten minutes, 17-16.

In the second quarter, the Scorchers managed to extend their lead thanks to the backing of the home crowd, and went into the locker rooms with a 46-36 lead.

However, the Gladiators refused to give up and gradually worked their way back into the game throughout the third quarter. They managed to cut the deficit to just one point, with the score at 61-59 heading into the final period.

The fourth quarter was a tense affair, with both teams trading baskets and neither side able to gain a decisive advantage. The game’s defining moment came with just 20 seconds left on the clock as the Scorchers committed a shot clock violation, leading to a crucial turnover. The Gladiators took advantage and, with two made free throws from David Sloan, went up by three with one possession to play. The Scorchers had a chance to tie the game, but missed shots proved costly as the Gladiators held on to win 84-81.

The win was a crucial one for the Gladiators, who had to work extremely hard to build momentum heading into the BBL Trophy Final next week – undoubtedly the most important game of the season. The game’s MVP was awarded to Fahro Alihodzic, who had an impressive 16 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists.

Although the game was fairly even on most aspects, the Gladiators’ 3-point shooting let them down, with their percentage remaining extremely low compared to the Scorchers’. Nonetheless, Gareth Murray’s side fought hard and were able to secure a vital victory on the road against a resurgent Scorchers team, coached by Lloyd Gardner.

The win moved the Gladiators to be even on points with 4th placed Manchester Giants, putting them in a good position as they aim to compete for the top 4.