The Gladiators were missing their lead scorer Patrick Whelan due to a hand injury, while Ian DuBose, who leads Gareth Murray’s side in both assists and steals, was also out.

Their squad may have been depleted, but that didn’t stop the Scottish side from getting off to a hot start offensively.

Caledonia targeted the low post in the early stages, with Princeton Onwas making a string of crafty buckets in the paint, before Fahro Alihodzic joined the party with a pair of physical makes.

The Scorchers leaned heavily on their bench to stay within reach of the Gladiators. Veteran guard Andrew Lawrence and new league face Quin Cooper offered firepower from the second unit, but seemingly not enough to keep up with the hosts.

A hard fall for Saiquan Jamison caused a delay in play and some concern for Surrey, as blood was cleared from the floor. Jamison was able to return to the game, however, avoiding a significant blow to Lloyd Gardner and his team.

Onwas remained aggressive, as the team prioritised him on consecutive possessions. The Texan bullied his way to the cup with conviction, shrugging off doubles when Surrey would react.

Toward the end of the first half, Onwas even drew an offensive foul and swung the game even further in Caledonia’s favour.

Errors crept in for Caledonia, with Alihodzic committing two turnovers in successive offensive possessions.

It seemed as though a break was needed for both teams and at the interval, the Gladiators held a 44-36 lead.

Having nursed his wound sufficiently, Jamison came flying out of the blocks at the restart, securing an ‘and one’ to try and breathe some life into Surrey’s challenge.

The momentum was quickly halted, however, as Mike Bothwell totally took over on offence, combining explosive lay-ups with mid-range jumpers to expand the Gladiators’ advantage.

After finishing the first half just eight points behind, the Scorchers found themselves 19 behind at the end of the third period.

The teams then traded baskets for a few minutes, with Padiet Wang spearheading the Scorchers on the offensive end and the Gladiators responding by committee to maintain the substantial lead.

Debutant Quade Green played a part for the home side, facilitating with confidence and offering a scoring punch from the bench.

Despite a valiant effort to shrink the deficit to single digits, the Scorchers had left it far too late. By the time the final buzzer sounded, Caledonia had earned the 84-75 victory.