Get your tickets for the Gladiators upcoming games! Gareth Murray’s BBL side take on London Lions tomorrow at the Emirates Arena – LIMITED TICKETS AVAILABLE ON THE DOOR. Miguel Ortega’s WBBL side welcome Oaklands Wolves next Saturday, 14th January – TICKETS.
Miguel Ortega’s Caledonia Gladiators travelled to Essex to take on WNBL Division 1 side, Thames Valley Cavaliers, in the WBBL Trophy 1st round. Despite embarking on a seven hour journey southbound, the Scottish side were the hosts on the night.
Heading into the game, Gladiators were struggling for players. Erin Jones remained out with a concussion, and Robyn Lewis was excluded from the lineup due to illness. Finally, despite being included in the matchday squad, Téa Adams remained on the bench all game due to injury. This provided a chance to Emma Kerr to be included in the WBBL squad for the first time. As well as this, Zoe Sharpe and 18th birthday celebrant, Kerry McGhee were named in the starting lineup.
Thames Valley opened the scoring with a two-pointer on the elbow from Helene Trailin, shaking off any initial nerves. It took Gladiators a few possession to get their first points, which came from two free throws from Chantelle Handy. Cavaliers showed why they’re the best rebounders in WNBL in the first ten minutes, with several hustle plays to keep the game close early on. Going into the first break, Gladiators maintained a fair ten point lead, 19-9.
Gladiators continued solid play in the second ten, as Emma Kerr clocked in for her WBBL debut. However, Cavaliers wouldn’t go down easy as they continued to chip away at the Gladiators’ early lead. The two sides continued to trade buckets, with Caledonia slightly expanding on their lead to 14, supported by Erin McGarrahan and Chantelle Handy. 37-23 going into the locker rooms.
In the third quarter, TVC continued to attempt to make their way back into the game. They held the Gladiators to two points in the opening four minutes of the half backed by their excitable bench cheers. However, the professional quality of Caledonia proved to be too much, as the hosts built on their earlier established lead. After 30 minutes, the score was 56-37 in favour of the hosts.
Ten minutes to go, and with a second round outing in sight, Gladiators only had to maintain their lead. That is what they did. Well-played basketball, solid defense and team togetherness cemented a solid victory for Miguel Ortega and co. Gladiators will now make the long journey home with a 22-point win under their belt, 69-47.
In the Trophy Quarter final, the Scottish side will take on the winners of Oaklands Wolves and Leicester Riders, a game that is taking place tomorrow morning.
Throughout the game, team captain Erin McGarrahan was pivotal for the victorious team. She scored 24 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and dished out 4 assists.
Next up, Gladiators’ WBBL side welcome Oaklands Wolves in the Championship to Lagoon Leisure Centre, Paisley, on Saturday, 14th January – TICKETS.