Get your tickets for the latest Caledonia Gladiators fixtures as the BBL side face the Newcastle Eagles on the Sunday – TICKETS – and the WBBL side take on the Manchester Met Mystics on the 17th of December – TICKETS.
Caledonia Gladiators, led by Head Coach Gareth Murray, travelled to Morningside Arena to face Rob Paternostro’s Leicester Riders in the British Basketball League, live on Sky Sports. The Midlands-based side were one of four undefeated teams at home in the British Basketball League prior to the fixture. However, the Scottish squad had been on great form recently, going 4-0 in their previous four outings.
The two sides had met two times prior. On both occasions, played at the Emirates Arena, the hometown Gladiators picked up strong victories over the Championship holders, by 8 point and 26 point margins respectively.
Murray stuck with the same five as the team’s 91-76 victory over Plymouth City Patriots. Club captain, Jonny Bunyan, remained out as he recovers from a foot injury. Paternostro also kept the same starters from Riders’ 81-90 win in Surrey.
Following a run of a few missed shots to begin the game, Riders’ Derryck Thornton opened the account with a well-finished layup, with on-form Jeremiah Bailey returning via a mid-range score. Gladiators continued with a few fast break finishes, giving them an early 7-2 lead. Thornton then left the court with an injury, although he later returned to action. Throughout the first quarter, turnovers and fouls were prevalent, with eight and seven respectively in the first 10 minutes alone. The hosts obtained a one-point lead, 21-20, during this time period.
In the second ten, the game remained back-and-forth, with David Sloan tying the game at 31 apiece with a corner three exactly halfway through the quarter. A few timeouts were called by both coaches, due to various switches in the game’s momentum. The league’s second-placed side, however, gained a bit of a further lead, as they were up 16 points going into the locker rooms, 51-35.
The third quarter saw the end of Jeremiah Bailey’s night, as he picked up his fourth and fifth fouls early on. From then, Leicester extended their lead to 26 points, 79-53.
With ten to go, Gareth Murray and co. hoped to make their way back into the game, but unfortunately, it didn’t go to plan. Leicester only built on their lead with solid three-point scoring, and several shots made from inside. A Blake Bowman monster throw-down dunk concluded the game, with Riders reaching a century of points. After 40 minutes, the hosts came out with a 100-67 lead.
Overall, Riders’ dominated the game on their home court following an evenly matched first quarter. Efficiency was the Gladiators’ downfall, as the visitors hit only 34% of their shots, far off Leicester’s 57%.
For the victors, GB international Patrick Whelan was on fire with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists.
The points were shared quite evenly between the Gladiators. However, it was Fraser Malcolm who picked up the team MVP with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 1 assist.
Next up, Gladiators look to bounce back as they take on the Newcastle Eagles at the Emirates Arena this Sunday. Get your tickets HERE!
Also, the WBBL side welcome Manchester Met Mystics to the Lagoon Leisure Centre, Paisley, next Saturday (17th December). Get your tickets HERE!