WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL: BEARS coach Tom Masterson praised a solid all-round team performance as Warwickshire defeated London Titans 56-54 in their opening First Division South contest.
Facing a London Titans side which pipped Bears to second spot in last year’s league, coach Masterson was keen to get revenge over their southern rivals.
And they did just that in a game which is unlikely to be matched for the remainder of the season.
New recruit Rob Whale made his first team debut for this fixture after signing for Bears over the summer.
From tip-off, neither side made a solid impression on the game as the opening quarter ended 15-16 in Titans’ favour.
The second quarter provided much the same with both teams scoring basket for basket.
But Titans’ skill up front started to show when they opened up an eight point lead half-way through the second quarter.
Not all was lost though as a Bears time out helped Masterson’s side regroup to bring the scores within a point at half time.
The second half saw a re-run of the first with both teams battling to earn a lead.
The whistle blew on the penultimate quarter with Titans holding a narrow two-point lead.
Though Bears trailed for much of the game, they upped their game when it mattered most.
Titans held their lead until the final minutes as the Bears attempted to claw back the scores.
Bears finally got their chance to pull level with only 58 seconds left on the clock.
Dan Gill faced a foul and successfully took two free shots to pull level.
Though Titans had one final chance to win the game, their last ditch show was narrowly missed, meaning Bears scored the final basket to win the game 56-54.
Coach Masterson said: “We knew it would be close. I am so proud of all the team today but have to give a special mention to my guards Lee Powell, Derek Hall and especially Rob Whale.
“They were all awesome.
“To beat a team as good as Titans is a massive achievement for the club, but it’s still only the first game and we have a long hard season ahead of us.”
<b>Bears 2 & 3</b>
<b>ELSEWHERE</b> Bears’ second team faced Titans’ third team in a less even contest.
With a number of forwards missing, the fixture was always likely to be tough for Bears. And it proved to be just that as they lost the game 25-54.
Bears’ third team were also in action against a strong Wolverhampton side.
Though Bears had their chances to score, Wolverhampton proved clinical in front of net, eventually winning 35-56.