+50 Men turn the Grizzlies into Teddy Bears

With several members of the FIMBA GB +50 Men playing scrimmages in Manchester, you can imagine the amount of trash talk prior to the game and the Grizzlies saw themselves as picking up the easy win and comfortably defeating the 0-1 +50M and the physical play started the moment the game began.

The Grizzlies took a very quick lead and with the +50M missing passes, static defending and a lack of communication, the Grizzlies took advantage.

Step up Phil Matthews who had a point to prove and he proved it, he’s a sleeper and his opponent got caught napping! He put in a game performance that was smoother than a jazz ensemble, his defence was tighter than his grip on the remote control at home.

If Matthews was Worthy, then PG Danny James was a shorter Magic Johnson. His skills were so polished, they could’ve passed for fine china and he was smoother than butter on a hot biscuit. Magic James started the comeback with a 3 pointer from so far back he may as well have been in the car park, in Bristol and he was dropping dimes like a clumsy cashier!

Andy England took to stealing the ball like it was the last slice of pizza and found himself open for the shot all the time. What he missed in shots he made up for in passes and steals.

The +50M took a commanding 32-20 lead at halftime and looked like they were in 2nd gear. Coach Short outlined the standards that were needed and the fact that the Grizzlies could still be in the game.

The third quarter saw the +50M take a grip of the game tighter than a grandma’s grip on her purse in a crowded subway. Jerry “Rodman” Hanss marked his man tighter than a jar of pickles and was rebounding like a trampoline tester. He played like a seasoned NBA pro, but apparently, the draft committee didn’t get the memo.

Centre Matt Everitt may not have Tim Duncan’s graceful style of play, precise footwork and impeccable post moves but he carried himself with the same quiet dignity on court, despite being fouled and hit more times than a piñata at a birthday party. Despite the beatings, Everitt stood towering over the competition on the scoreboard.

The end of the third quarter and with the +50M leading 49-28, Coach Short demanded more. He demanded more communication, creativity, better shots and implored the players to play freely but disciplined. He got what he asked for.

The display in the final quarter was remarkable. It clicked.

A passing game so precise, they could’ve been delivering afternoon tea and despite the fast breaks being slower than a leisurely Sunday stroll, they were effective. Jebb, Clarkson and England were shooting hoops like it was free therapy and scoring points like they were handing out candy on Halloween.

Gary Poole came to the party late and chopped up the defence like veggies at a salad bar. Poole found himself, discovered that he does belong in the GB set up and that sense of self belief had him causing havoc on the baseline.

The game ended with a resounding win for the +50M 77-40.

Great performance for the second game together and a much better performance overall. The team chemistry is starting to take effect and Coach Short was happy with the win, still looking for more from the players but knows that this is just another step towards the Europeans in June.

Thank you to the Grizzlies for the game, superb hosts and let’s do it again.