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Game Report: Caledonia Gladiators 85-82 Bristol Flyers


The Caledonia Gladiators overcame the Bristol Flyers to move into third place, in thrilling Thursday night British Basketball League action.

Caledonia Gladiators starting five: Ian
DuBose, Princeton Onwas, Patrick Whelan, Lukas Palyza,
Fahro Alihodzic

Bristol Flyers starting five: Tevin Olison, CJ Jackson, Raphell Thomas-Edwards, Rowell Graham-Bell, Brad Greene

First Half:

On paper, tonight’s game between the Caledonia Gladiators and Bristol Flyers at the Playsport Arena looked like a close contest. Both teams had recorded eight wins so far this season and they shared ambitions of breaking into the top three.

However, they found themselves in different veins of form. Bristol arrived hoping to end a four-game losing streak, having failed to win since their last meeting. Meanwhile, the Gladiators simply aimed to establish some consistency with consecutive victories, as they had struggled to gain any real momentum over the last month.

The sides lead the league in rebounds per
game, due to their bruising presence in the paint, so it was hardly surprising when
both teams prioritised early post play. Caledonia’s Fahro Alihodzic and Bristol’s
Brad Greene picked up the opening points for their teams.

The Flyers scored by committee throughout the first half. Greene and Raphell Thomas-Edwards lead them on offence, but they initially struggled to break the lead that Caledonia established in the opening quarter.

Then came Trejon Jacob, who provided Bristol with their offensive spark in the second quarter. The bench guard finished the first half with 11 points and four rebounds, ensuring his team took a five-point lead into the break.

Second Half:

Bristol’s aggressive play carried over into
the third quarter, as they returned from the locker room determined to widen
their lead. After a relatively quiet first half, Rowell Graham-Bell caught fire,
posing a shooting threat from behind the arc and scoring 10 points in the quarter.

The Flyers established an eight point lead, but Caledonia weren’t going anywhere. As he so often does, Patrick Whelan stepped up for the Gladiators with an assured scoring burst and the Scottish side were back in contention. When Ian DuBose scored consecutive baskets with five minutes remaining in the competition, the game was tied.

The teams went blow for blow down the stretch,
with a huge DuBose three giving Caledonia the advantage, before a pair of Bristol
free throws brought the deficit to just one point with a minute remaining.

Gareth Murray’s team missed a free throw out
of a timeout, but earned a chance for to close the game out by forcing a Flyers
turnover with just nine seconds on the clock.

The Flyers tactical fouls came and Ian DuBose sunk a pair from the stripe to push the lead back to three. When CJ Jackson missed a Hail Mary in the final seconds, the Gladiators secured the narrow victory to move up to third place in the league.

Player of the Game:

Tonight’s Player of the Game was captain Fahro Alihodzic, who recorded 17 points, four rebounds and four assists, while shooting 87% from the field.

Teams Name Points Rebounds Assists
Caledonia Gladiators Fahro Alihodzic 17 4 4
Caledonia Gladiators Lukas Palyza 17 1 2
Bristol Flyers Rowell Graham-Bell 18 2 2
Bristol Flyers Trejon Jacob 16 4 4

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