British Wheelchair Basketball hosted the Continental Clash at the EIS in Sheffield where three Scottish players competed in the tournament; George Bates (GB Senior Men), Robyn Love (GB Senior Women) and Morwenna Hastings (U24 Women.)
The GB Women got off to a good start in their first game against Japan with the majority of GB’s forwards contributing to the 14-4 first quarter lead. Scotland’s Robyn Love picked up a total of eight points, two rebounds and one assist which heavily contributed to their 60-44 victory. After the game she said: “It was a positive start to the tournament, we have a few areas we can tighten the bolts on for tomorrow. It felt great to get a win in our first international game at our new home venue.”
George Bates commented on the GB Men’s first game against Poland prior to the match he said: “I’m looking forward to it, this is our first game of the summer and the first step towards achieving our goal of winning the World Championships.” The 24-year-old was involved in the starting five for GB which also included many of his teammates that also came up through the GB U22 programme. The youthful team held their own against an experienced side, winning 75-68 with Bates having four points, two rebounds and one assist.
Day 2 kicked off with the GB Women facing European Champions, the Netherlands. Robyn Love’s thirteen rebounds alongside her six points and three assists helped GB remain on fire for the first quarter as they had the 16-7 lead. However, Netherlands’ Mariska Beijer (a player widely regarded as one of the best women’s players in the world) consistently kept adding to her 33-point. GB couldn’t recover from the damage dealt and unfortunately lost 51-42.
Later that day the GB Men fought Japan with head coach Haj Bhania switching and mixing line-ups of youth and experience which ensured they got the 73-52 win with George Bates picking up seven points, three rebounds and one assist.
Day 3 was started with the GB Men taking on the Netherlands with GB able to keep their winning streak intact after a 63-55 win although Bates wasn’t as prominent in this game as others he still managed to pick up a point and a rebound.
Meanwhile on the Women’s side of things Robyn Love was on fire for GB as she picked up two double-doubles throughout the day. For the first game versus Germany she was top scorer with fourteen points, ten rebounds and one assist which meant GB got the 54-37 win. She spoke about the first win saying: “It was a great team win coming off our loss yesterday. We battled hard for the full 40 minutes and showed that our hard work is paying off.”
In the next game versus Canada Love picked up ten points and eleven rebounds which secured GB the 55-49 victory after clawing back the lead in an electric fourth quarter.
A Paralympic-worthy encounter took place in the morning of Day 4 as the GB Men faced Spain. GB got off to a blazing start outscoring the Spanish side 24-2 in the first quarter which Spain just couldn’t recover from for the remainder of the game. George Bates was top scorer with nineteen points, four rebounds and one assist as GB won 75-40.
The GB Women then had a rematch against Germany in the first women’s semi-final of the day and unfortunately couldn’t repeat their success from the previous day as Germany secured an early ten-point lead in the first quarter. Despite the 61-52 loss, Love picked up six points, seven rebounds and two assists heading into the bronze medal game.
The GB Women U24s then had a showcase match versus fifth place team Japan. The team used this game as a learning experience as they were unfortunately defeated 79-16 with Morwenna Hastings picking up two points and a rebound. The U24s will continue to train throughout the year in preparation for the U24 European Championships in France during November.
The senior Women faced Canada in the bronze medal game and unfortunately couldn’t stop the scoring power of the Canadians as they ended of losing 66-47, finishing fourth overall despite Robyn Love picking up ten points, five rebounds and five assists.
The final game of Day 5 was a game between the GB Men and Canada being streamed on BBC Sport Online. GB were able to finish their Continental Clash campaign undefeated as they beat Canada 78-57 with George Bates picking up ten points, two rebounds and one assist in the space of ten minutes.
basketballscotland would like to congratulate George Bates and Robyn Love on their selections on the GB Men’s and Women’s squads respectively for the upcoming World Championships taking place in Hamburg, Germany from August 16th-26th.