This women’s international window, Caledonia Gladiators had five players representing them in FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Qualifiers. Hannah Robb, Kirsty Brown, Erin McGarrachan and Chantelle Handy got a spot in GB’s squad as they took on Sweden and Estonia, while Yevheniia Putra was selected for her senior debut with Ukraine as they faced the challenges of Serbia and Portugal.
In GB’s first game against Sweden in Manchester, they were subject to a heartbreaking loss in the final seconds after pushing themselves back into the game. Despite clawing back a deficit of as much as 8 (and also leading by 8 at one point earlier in the fixture), Chema Buceta’s side lost 62-64. Captain Temi Fagbenle led the way in the game for the hosts with 18 points, whilst on a Gladiators front, it was Hannah Robb with seven who was the standout performer. Chantelle Handy made her return to the international game after retiring after last year’s 2023 EuroBasket qualifying campaign, scoring 3 points on the night. Kirsty Brown and Erin McGarrachan also contributed with a score apiece.
Following the tough defeat, GB travelled to Tallinn to take on Estonia on Sunday evening. The side came out firing as they handed the Estonians, including former Gladiator Téa Adams a 45-83 loss. Once again, it was former WNBA and Euroleague star Temi Fagbenle who contributed with a game-high 32 points, with all Gladiators involved getting on the scoresheet once more. Adams, for the hosts, had a solid seven points, but it wasn’t enough to get a win for them as GB overpowered the side with their depth and experience.
For Yevheniia Putra and Ukraine, they faced a tough opening challenge, taking on one of the best sides in Europe in Serbia as they were subjects of a huge 82-40 loss from the world’s fourth-best side. Serbia were led by EuroLeague veteran, Tina Krajisnik, who had a game-high 22 points. Putra, who was recently promoted from the U20s side, put up 4 points in 8 minutes on her senior debut, shooting an efficient 2/3 from the field.
In their following game vs Portugal, it looked like they were going to pick up a win against a side slightly below them in the rankings. However, thanks to a huge comeback from the Portuguese side it wasn’t to be for Putra and Ukraine as they were subject to another loss, going 0-2 in the window. Portugal came out firing in the fourth, seemingly hitting almost every shot they took, winning in the last ten minutes – leading the scoring 14-35 in that period. Gladiators’ Yevheniia Putra put up an extremely impressive 13 points, three rebounds, and a block, in what was only her second game with the seniors.
Next up at home for the squad once they return to Scotland is Essex Rebels at home in just under two weeks’ time, as they welcome them to PlaySport on the 26th of November for what’s set to be an exciting matchup – Rebels being one of the most intriguing sides in the league this year. Don’t miss out on the action and get your tickets HERE.