Get your tickets on the FanBase app for upcoming Caledonia Gladiators fixtures as we welcome Newcastle Eagles on the men’s side, and Essex Rebels on the 26th in the Women’s British Basketball League.
Caledonia Gladiators welcomed Sheffield Sharks to PlaySport for the second time this season, as the sides faced off for a third total time in the 23/24 British Basketball League campaign, with the series tied at 1-1 heading into the Saturday night fixture.
Patrick Whelan opened the accounts for Gladiators in their home fortress with a finished layup. Thereafter, the Sharks went on a 12-0 run to open the first four minutes, forcing a Gladiators timeout halfway through the first – down 2-12. After the timeout, Gladiators showed some fightback, bringing the game within 5 before a Jordan Ratinho trademark 3 took the Sharks ahead by 8. By the end of ten minutes, it was Atiba Lyons’ travelling side who remained ahead – leading 12-17.
Caledonia came out flying after ten minutes thanks to the backing of their home crowd. Thanks to some well-worked team basketball and solid stops on the defensive end, the Gladiators had managed to get back into it – tying the game, and even going ahead of the Sharks before the TV timeout. After the hosts had made their way back into the game, the game continued going bucket-for-bucket as the Sharks were trying to maintain a lead. A Lukas Palyza and-one converted from beyond the arc excited the home crowd, as it took Caledonia into a small lead with two minutes to play in the half. By the time the buzzer went, Gladiators had maintained an extremely slim advantage of 1 point, leading 36-35.
As the teams switched ends, it was the hosts once again who got off on the front foot. They went on a strong run to begin the third, expanding their lead to as much as 7 before Sharks came back into it and made it a one-possession game with three minutes to play thanks to an RJ-Eytle Rock three as the shot clock was running down, followed by a block from the young Englishman. After, however, Gladiators had a strong play on both sides of the court themselves, as Palyza knocked down a three before a Prince Onwas block on the defensive end. After half an hour, and a buzzer-beating Moore Jr. finish to end the period, the hosts led by a more comfortable 11, 59-48, with Sharks showing positive sparks as they were searching for their first win in Scotland this season.
The fourth quarter saw the sides battling it out to conclude the game, as the hosts were looking to maintain their lead while the visiting Sheffield squad searched for a way back into the tie, both teams backed by strong individual performances with several players nearing the double-digit points mark with ten to play. The sides continued to fight it out tooth and nail, with plenty of changes in momentum with strong offensive and defensive performances all-round keeping the game in reach of the Sharks. With two minutes to play, it seemed to be Gladiators’ game to lose, as they had an 8-point advantage only supported by a pair of missed Jordan Ratinho free throws. A three from Kipper Nichols put some fear into Gladiators fans – chopping the lead to 8, but the hosts prevailed and by the full-time buzzer, they had picked up another crucial win in the British Basketball League, 73-64, as they progressed up the league table.
Next up, after a trip to Anwil, Gareth Murray’s Gladiators welcome the struggling Newcastle Eagles to try and keep their unbeaten run at home alive. Get your tickets on the FanBase app HERE!