The Caledonia Gladiators faced off against the Cardiff Met Archers in a highly-anticipated WBBL matchup at Paisley’s Lagoon on Saturday. Gladiators entered the game sitting at 5th in the league with a 6-2 record, with the Archers in 7th place with a 3-6 record.
The game was dubbed the “Burns Bash” in honor of Scottish poet Robert Burns, and featured plenty of fun fan activities off the court. However, once the game began, it was all about basketball.
The Gladiators, coached by Miguel Ortega, were without Erin Jones, who remained out due to injury. Despite this, the team came out strong and dominated the first quarter, ending it with a low scoring 12-4 lead thanks to solid fast break basketball, with contributions all round.
The Archers, coached by former GB international and teammate of Chantelle Handy, Stef Collins, tried to make a comeback in the second quarter, but the Gladiators defense held strong and they expanded on their lead, ending the half with a score of 36-18.
In the first half, Téa Adams contributed solidly in her return to the starting lineup, with 12 points in 15 minutes of play.
The third quarter saw the Archers make a push to close the gap, led by their top performer Lauren Saiki, who had a respectable 12 points after 30 minutes. However, the Gladiators kept their composure and managed to hold off the Archers’ attempts, ending the third quarter with a 30-point lead, 58-28.
In the fourth quarter, the Gladiators sealed the deal with strong play from their entire team and a final score of 72-41. The hosts’ defense was particularly impressive, holding the Archers to just 23% shooting from the field.
The Exceed Footwear MVP was awarded to Gladiators guard, Téa Adams for her outstanding performance, scoring 28 points, grabbing 2 rebounds, and dishing out an assist.
Overall, it was a great game for the Gladiators, who continue their strong showing in the WBBL. The team now looks ahead to their next home game against Durham Palatinates on 26th February, with tickets not yet available. However, Miguel Ortega and co. travel to Leicester and London for a double-header across the WBBL Trophy and Championship in a weeks’ time.