Following a hugely successful opening night in FIBA Europe Cup and EuroCup Women, with strong wins over CSU Sibiu and S.L Benfica, 68-80 and 73-52 respectively, Gladiators now have a double-header weekend, sponsored by Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, ahead of them before their second round of European fixtures. The men’s side will first welcome Sheffield Sharks to PlaySport before the women’s side takes on Durham Palatinates at the brand-new state-of-the-art site.
Following the weekend, last year’s BBL Trophy winners will face an even more challenging game, as they battle with Anwil Włocławek, the winners of the competition last year, and current leaders in the Polish top division. However, in a disappointing start to Europe Cup action for the Poles, they came out losers in their competition opener vs Bilbao Basket, with the Spanish side winning 79-83. Last night, despite the loss, Gladiators’ next opponents were led by Polish guard, Jakub Garbacz, who put up an impressive 16 points and 5 rebounds, along with one assist. Whilst Anwil won the rebounding battle by a 41-37 margin, as well as points from turnovers (22-12) and second-chance points (15-11), it was Bilbao who led in fast-break points (7-14), points in the paint (34-36) and points from the bench (29-61). Interestingly, the Spaniards only led for a minute and 41 seconds, with their biggest lead of the game being the final 4-point margin.
In round two of Europe Cup action, the two sides will bring an interesting matchup to the home crowd at PlaySport, with both sides searching for a crucial win. Get your tickets HERE!
After their league opener vs Durham Palatinates, Miguel Ortega’s side will take on Basket Namur Capitale, who currently sit third-placed in Belgium’s top division, having won 3 games and lost 1 domestically so far. In EuroCup, like Gladiators, the Belgian side managed a victory over Portuguese giants, S.L. Benfica in their opening fixture last week (their game this week, due to be played against Israel’s Elitzur Ramla, was cancelled), as they won 52-60 in Lisbon. For the Belgians, it was Peyton Whithead who stood out. The American big put up an impressive 14 points and 10 rebounds, securing victory for her side. Statistically, Benfica led the way on second-chance points (17-2) and points from the bench (23-2), so it was a surprise on paper that Namur came away with the victory. In total, the sides (Benfica and Namur) have faced each other three times, with Namur coming out on top twice compared to Benfica’s one.
Both Namur Capitale and Caledonia Gladiators will be searching for their second victory in this year’s competition, as the East Kilbride-based side looks to continue to build momentum following their historic win over Benfica, as they became the first Scottish women’s side to win in European basketball. Get your tickets to next Thursday’s battle at PlaySport HERE!