The FIMBA GB o60 Men’s team completed their final training session before the XI European Championships in Malaga, with games against FIMBA GB o55 Herons at UWE on Saturday and a Bristol Select team at Thornbury Sports centre on Sunday.
It was the first chance for John Belk, the latest recruit to the squad, to get to know the team and he fitted in straight away.
Missing three squad members wasn’t ideal but the game against the o55s Herons was another chance to run through the plays that will form the basis of our tilt at the Malaga competition.
Having lost by one point in a previous encounter the o60s were keen to make amends but, in a low scoring game, they failed to capitalise on open shots and free throws and eventually lost 35-44. It was one of those games where the team just didn’t “click”, and an early hamstring injury to captain Dave McKenzie rather set the tone. The big plus was the introduction of John Belk who quickly showed he is a class act by being top scorer with 11 points, followed by Rik Bos and Graeme Muir with 6 points each.
Sunday’s game was a different matter. Fortified by an “all you can eat” buffet Saturday evening in Bristol it was a different team that took to the floor on Sunday. Pushing our fast break offense and with good shot selection the o60s quickly went into a 8-10 point lead which they never relinquished, even though in some instances they were giving their opposition 20 years in age. The best part was that all the players got on the scoresheet, proving that with the right people taking the right shot at the right time they have a multiple threat offense which hopefully will be a handful for anybody.
Top scorer was Rik Bos with 15 points, then Muir 11, Radford 8, Belk 7, White 6, Shovlin 5, Craigan Spaeth and Nash 4.
Next stop is the GB Masters in Newcastle in June where, playing as Bristol Jazz, they have a final run out for the team and then it’s pack your bag for Spain!!