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Gibraltar basketball beats Wales

Full time Gibraltar 76-55 Wales

Gibraltar seniors men’s squad took on Wales on Friday evening in front of some 100 spectators that had ventured to watch.
The match a chance for the national team to prepare for their FIBA tournament was also a chance for officials to get used to this summers big event.
One immediate big difference from normal domestic league matches was the fact the match had three umpires officiating. This as Gibraltar basketball prepared itself for its first pro league in Gibraltar.
The bench also enforcing stricter protocols on changes and with signs which told players how many fouls they had committed.
Wales first offensive was well dealt with by Gibraltar who pressed them to lose the ball under the basket. However Gibraltar’s own offensive didn’t materialise and Wales persisted.
The first point coming from a foul with Wales taking the first two points of the match with some two minutes gone of the match.
Gibraltar levelled with the first open play points.
Although the match was slow in rallying the points at first Gibraltar started to take a slim lead with six minutes of the quarter left to play. Going 6-2 ahead and not having given any space under their basket for Wales to build upon their score.
Wales struggled at first to find space for another attempt at the basket. Timed-out in one instance. Gibraltar had several chances but kept hitting the rim before they added their next basket. Wales responded with their own as the match went to an 8-4 lead for Gibraltar with half the first quarter played.
Wales were to produce a superb block after Gibraltar had broken free to the basket. This was not to deter the home side who went on to regain possession and score. Wales again responding quickly keeping the four point distance between them.
Yome was to score the first three pointer. Wales though whilst responding only managed two points themselves. Gibraltar immediately added another two baskets to go 17-8 ahead with three minutes left on the clock as they grew in confidence and settled into their game.
Tight in defence and running to the basket Gibraltar went 19-8 ahead before giving away a foul which allowed Wales to find the basket.
Gibraltar was to finish the first quarter with a 22-9 lead.
The second quarter saw Gibraltar’s defence produce a superb block which provided signals of what was to come.
Strong defending and swarming of players was crowding out Wales play who still managed to find the basket first.
It was under the basket that Gibraltar had some frustrating moments in the early part of the second quarter with the ball just not going in for them after numerous attempts.
Six attempts hitting the rim and bouncing away frustratingly for them.
The points did not come until halfway through the quarter. Wales responded likewise as the score went to a 24-13 lead for Gibraltar.
Gibraltar, although finding the space to get the shots in were failing in their effectiveness to chalk up the points. Even winning the offensive rebounds they had only managed two points in their first five minutes of play.
Gibraltar’s zonal marking was effectively closing the doors to Wales but did not prevent a three point shot. Wales cutting the gap to 25-18 before Gibraltar responded.
With a minute and a half of the second quarter left a confident Wales team started to close the gap further as Gibraltar continued to struggle grabbing points. Wales went within three points.
A quick break saw Wales come to within a point with less that thirty seconds on the clock. Gibraltar lucky not to see their lead totally overturned in the last second.
Gibraltar leading 28-27 at half time.
Gibraltar seemed to wake up in the third quarter as they regained their form under the basket and pulled away to a 39-27 with three minutes of the quarter played. This was five more points than they had scored the whole of the second quarter.
Spanish national Garcia, eligible to play for Gibraltar under FIBA rules and who had played the whole of the previous two quarters continued on the court, the only player at this stage who had not been rotated.
With four minutes of the quarter left Wales eventually found their 30th point as Gibraltar lead 41-30.
Garcia was eventually rested with three minutes of the quarter left after seeing much of the play going past him but showing signs of tiring.
Gibraltar stalled for a while and saw Wales once again close the gap in the latter minutes of the quarter. With a minute and a half left Gibraltar’s lead cut to just five points at 41-36.
Gibraltar finally responded with a minute left as the lead looked to be overturned.
Wales came back again and winning a defensive rebound to launch a final offensive with twenty seconds on the clock for the end of the quarter managed to take the score to 45-42, cutting Gibraltar’s lead to just three points.
The final and fourth quarter started with both teams exchanging points from the start.
Gibraltar pulled slightly ahead to a 49-44 after two minutes of play.
A mistake in attack in communication allowed Wales possession to bring the score to level terms with a 49-49.
They were, however, to immediately respond but Wales was not to let go and levelled again at 52-52.
A strong response saw Gibraltar once again take the lead and then regain possession by stealing in defence and going on a quick break. Wales notching up the fouls as they tried to halt the attack. Yome adding another point from two free shots.
Winning the defensive rebound Gibraltar was again on the attack this time Garcia scoring two consecutive baskets. Stealing again as Wales tried to go forward Yome added a further two points as Gibraltar went nine points ahead in a matter of seconds.
With four minutes left Gibraltar lead now 61-52 with Wales using a time out to stop Gibraltar’s sudden spring ahead.
Where the ball at one time was not going in Yome’s next attempt saw a three bounce on the rim before it went in as Gibraltar added three more points before Wales responded with their own.
With just over two minutes left for the final buzzer Gibraltar opened up their biggest advantage with a 13 point lead at 68-55.
Gibraltar went on to win the match 76-55.

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