Caledonia Gladiators hosted the Sheffield Sharks in Glasgow for Sunday evening BBL Championship action. It was a crucial matchup for both sides, as the hosts looked to cement their playoff spot, and Atiba Lyons’ team trying to clinch onto the eighth spot.
In their previous game, Gareth Murray’s side came out victorious away to Manchester Giants, in an eventually convincing 91-73 outing. The visitors however were on the road in Newcastle, bringing home a 14-point loss to the steel city on Friday night.
After Patrick Tapé winning tip-off and Jeremiah Bailey getting the first bucket, Gladiators started out strong, taking control of the game and setting the pace with quick passes and precise shots. The first quarter saw a back-and-forth battle between the two teams, but Caledonia managed to hold onto a solid 12-point lead, 22-10.
Sheffield Sharks came back stronger in the second quarter, determined to even the score, and outscored the Gladiators within the second ten-minute spell. The action on the court was intense, with both teams pushing themselves to the limit and Sheffield Sharks clawing themselves back into the game. Despite a technical foul called on Coach Gareth Murray, Gladiators managed to keep their lead and went into the locker rooms with a slight advantage, leading 40-33 thanks to a Jeremiah Bailey buzzer-beating three-pointer.
The third quarter saw a further resurgence from Sharks, who mounted a comeback with a series of well-executed plays. The crowd was on their feet as the game became more intense, with both teams battling for the lead. After 30 minutes, Gladiators maintained the advantage with the score 56-50.
In the final quarter, the tension was palpable as the game came down to the wire. Both teams gave it their all, with solid plays from the hosts. With just over three minutes to go, Coach Atiba Lyons was given a technical foul, eventually proving to be the last straw for the Sharks. In the end, it was Gladiators who emerged victorious, securing a hard-fought win with a final score of 77-71.
Aljami Durham picked up the evening’s Exceed Footwear MVP with a dominant 19 point, 5 rebound, and 5 assist outing which led the team to their eventual victory.
Next up, Gladiators face capital side London Lions at home in the BBL Trophy on Friday night as they look to advance. Get your tickets HERE!