Following an impressive week in Europe and domestically last week with wins over Sibiu and Sheffield, Caledonia Gladiators face an equally challenging week as they face Anwil Włocławek on the road in Poland, before welcoming Newcastle Eagles to PlaySport.
In the sides’ last matchup at PlaySport, in Gladiators’ men’s European opener, the sides fought it out in an intense game which historically ended in a Gladiators win over the tournament’s reigning champions. By the final buzzer, Gareth Murray’s men had picked up a huge 66-63 victory thanks to a Clifton Moore MVP performance as the young American put up a solid 16 points. Perhaps the story of the evening, however, was Anwil’s loud fans, of which 200-300 made the long trip to East Kilbride to support their side, creating a special atmosphere at PlaySport.
The two teams are battling it out for a spot in the next round of the tournament, with Bilbao Basket looking to be favourites to top the group. Only the six top-placed second teams will advance to the knockout stages, so wins are crucial for both sides as they will look to climb the leaderboard of second-placed sides to be in with a chance of going on in the FIBA Europe Cup. Undoubtedly, three wins so far for Gladiators is an exceptional achievement in their first season in the competition, but Gareth Murray and his side will be hoping for more.
Head coach Gareth Murray, who was recently nominated for a Scottish Sports Award, is not writing off Anwil at their home venue: “We saw what the crowd was like when they brought a few hundred fans here, so we’re expecting 3-5,000, and the same atmosphere. It’s going to be great for us as the club, the players, and myself as a coach to play in that environment. Our focus is to try and win that game – we want to get to the next round of FIBA Europe Cup.”
Following the action in Poland, Gladiators welcome Newcastle Eagles to PlaySport for a battle of the border special. Get your tickets HERE as Caledonia take on their nearest rivals in what’s set to be an exciting one.