Caledonia Gladiators returned to the top of Group G in the FIBA Euro Cup after an inspiring performance in Lisbon against Portuguese giants Benfica.
Gladiators previously met with Benfica in East Kilbride and ran out 73-52 winners.
In the first quarter it was Hannah Robb who got the Gladiators going as she scored a neat lay-up 30 seconds into the game. Isabela Jourdain levelled the scoring until Erin McGarrachan nailed a three-pointer, scoring her first of 5 points in the game. As the first quarter drew to a close, Sarah Shematsi netted a three with seconds remains to narrow down a 11-15 lead to Caledonia.
Going into the second half, Chantelle Handy showed why she was awarded MVP as she hit 4 3-pointers in what pushed the Gladiators to a 26-39 lead at halftime. Ariadna Pujol also came up with numerous assists and added to the score. Benfica struggled to make shots for periods of the game but began to find their flow and rounded off the quarter with another last second 3-pointer.
The third quarter was very even between the teams. Chantelle and Samantha both made threes while Bintou was solid defensively claiming multiple rebounds. Benfica struggled to score at all for much of the quarter but had a good spell where they made consecutive threes early in the quarter.
The Gladiators rounded off the game professionally and secured a 53-64 win away from home. There was an unfortunate moment with seconds to go which saw a scuffle between Kirsty Brown and Carolina Cruz leaving both players ejected. Kirsty will now miss our final group stage game against Belgiums Namur Basket. Despite that, Caledonia Gladiators can be proud to take on such a big name in sport and put them to the sword both home and away!
The women will be back in action on Sunday as they welcome Essex Rebels to Playsport. You can get your tickets through the fanbase app now!