Caledonia Gladiators took on the Plymouth City Patriots in Thursday night’s British Basketball League Championship action. In a game where Paul James was looking to pick up his 500th career win, the visiting side, who had travelled nearly 500 miles, had added incentive heading into it.
After the Gladiators won the tip-off, it was captain Fahro Alihodzic who got the game underway with the first bucket for the hosts. It took the Patriots just under a minute to get their start, with Taylor Johnson scoring a layup. Throughout the first quarter, the teams remained well-matched, going score-for-score. Ian DuBose got off to a hot start, with 7 points to his name in the first ten minutes alone, where the score was 24-27 in favour of Plymouth.
After the quarter break, Gladiators came back into the game. High-energy possessions became the key to Gareth Murray’s side’s game as they found themselves building a lead. As the teams headed into the locker rooms, the score sat at 51-42. Standing out for the visitors was former NBL star, Taylor Johnson, who had 18 points to his name.
It was the Gladiators’ game to win at the half, but the Patriots still had the opportunity to bring themselves back into the game. Thanks to solid team basketball and continued high-intensity play, the night’s hosts were able to expand upon their lead. They led 3-point percentage, shooting 55% compared to Plymouth’s 31, as they maintained a 15-point lead, 84-69.
In the fourth quarter, the teams continued to battle, but by the end, Gladiators’ dominance and depth proved too strong for Plymouth. By the final buzzer, they picked up an emphatic 16-point win, 99-83.
With the team’s most impressive performance, Ian DuBose picked up the Gladiators’ MVP of the night, putting up a solid 20 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Next up for Gareth Murray’s side, they travel to Sheffield at the weekend to take on the Sharks at the brand-new Canon Medical Arena. Then, they welcome Sharks to PlaySport a week on Sunday – get your tickets HERE. Also, the women’s side welcomes Benfica and Durham Palatinates on Wednesday and Sunday respectively – get your tickets HERE!