WARWICKSHIRE Bears returned to British Wheelchair Basketball League Premier League action with a battling effort as they were beaten 47-39 by London Titans.
The visitors arrived at the University of Birmingham Sport & Fitness Centre with new recruit – GB women’s captain Helen Freeman – playing alongside television celebrity Ade Adepitan MBE in their talented side.
Bears, without a win this season, were up against it from the start as Titans played strong at both ends of the court and provided very few chances for the Bears to score.
With speed throughout the Titans team, the Bears were limited to few chances at the Titans’ basket and the hosts trailed 17-4 at the end of the first period.
The next two quarters were much more evenly matched as Bears improved their defence and in the final period the home side got within touching distance of the visitors, but Titans pulled away to seal a hard-fought win.
Bears coach Tom Masterson said: “I would like to congratulate Titans and their coach Macca McCullen for a fantastic game. I need to try and work out why we are starting too slowly and letting these teams get away from us, but I can’t fault the effort and fight in the team.
“We are still a work in progress but hopefully we’ll get to the level where we need to be eventually.”
BEARS 2nds were beaten 79-28 by London Titans 2nds in Division One South.
Promoted Bears hosted a Titans side which finished runners-up in this division last term and, with Bears missing a number of players from last season who were either promoted to the first team or absent due to illness, this was going to be an uphill battle before the teams tipped-off.
Coach Jacob Robinson had called up junior players Ellen Fraser and Kyle Jackson to his line-up alongside veteran Adrian Taber who added some experience to the young side.
However, Bears were unable to stay with the free-flowing play of the Titans team who dominated from the start and saw the game out to a convincing win.
Robinson said: “This was always going to be a tough start for us after promotion last season and, with many of the players moving up to our first team or not being available, I have to make a special mention about the two juniors Kyle and Ellen who were fantastic.”
Bears 3rds start their campaign at Derby on Sunday. The Bears are still looking for additional sponsors to help the club in their endeavours to provide sporting opportunities for local disabled people. Email [email protected] or call 07946 518354 for details.