Basketball wins both its matches
Gibraltar’s basketball ladies were unforgiving in what was a crunch match bringing back memories of the Island Games in Gotland. There the team had fallen to the physicality of the Cayman Islands and not been able to go onto the next stage for the finals.
Sunday was to be a very different encounter. With Luis Romero at the helm, and the squad with some key experience at international level competitions the focus was on.
It was also now surprise that the Tercentenary Sports Hall was packed solid. Gibraltar fans had turned up for the match. Although only half the court was being used, with a men’s match on the other side the overflow saw both sides full.
The noise at the stadium was as impressive as you could get. It might have been mid summer but with a windy beach day many had decided to instead turn out to watch their team play.
Gibraltar was turning out to support its sports people across all events, badminton saw a good crowd, tennis saw its support, triathlon saw support, cycling saw support. Basketball was however, to get the biggest of the supports as expected.
Gibraltar started well. Taking the early lead they also found out what the crowd was willing to do for them. Captain Kiara Sene had asked for their sixth player and they had turned up.
Finishing the first quarter ahead by four points at 16-12 Gibraltar were looking hopeful. The second quarter saw the visitors up the physically of the contest.
With the crowd well behind them in support Gibraltar had no problem but to match them. Young Emily was to receive a blow to her cheek which saw her need some attention due to a cut, whilst Joelle Moreno was to come off injured with suspected hamstring problem.
Gibraltar took the into half time with the lead. Players such as Carla, Reyes and Rovengo were showing why they were also internationals in netball. Some amazing blocks were seen which left even the taller Caymans looking on as Gibraltar took the game forward with confidence.
As they entered into the final quarter Gibraltar had gone 47-40 ahead and still to play for, the seven point margin not enough to keep Cayman Island at bay.
Reyes had taken the lead with her play as she found the route to the basket more than once. Gibraltar’s battling spirit was evident across the whole team, buoyed further by the support of a noisy crowd more than firmly behind them.
Gibraltar set themselves to carve themselves a secure route to victory making sure they took the first points with a 68-54 victory. As the final buzzer was heard the crowd rose in a rapturous cheer, roaring the house down.
From the sidelines the men had watched Gibraltar women’s play and felt the buzz that had been generated as they took to the court next.
This was going to be Gibraltar’s second win of the day in basketball.
A strong start going 23-3 against Gotland was followed by a halftime score of 43-19. Gotland not proving as strong as they had looked on paper to some. An 87-44 ensure Gibraltar’s men also took the points.