WARWICKSHIRE Bears began their 2017/18 British Wheelchair Basketball League First Division South campaign with a 56-54 victory over London Titans 2nds on Sunday.
The Bears were in sensational form as they defeated the side who pipped them to second place last season and it was a debut to remember for summer recruit Rob Whale, who finished on the winning side.
The first half of the match was end to end and, after the first period had ended 16-15 in Titans’ favour, Titans did open an eight-point lead midway through the second quarter, but Bears rallied to trail just 30-29 at the midway point.
It was still Titans who led by a narrow 44-42 margin by the end of the third period but the Bears saved their best until last despite the fine form of Titans players Andy Dear and Weeks brothers Andy and Chris.
The Bears finally got their chance to pull level with only 58 seconds left on the clock and they seized it as Dan Gill successfully took two free shots to pull level.
The Titans had one last chance to win the game, but narrowly missed, giving the Bears the last opportunity to score. With the clock ticking down, Jacob Robinson scored a final basket to secure a superb win.
Bears coach Tom Masterson said: “What a game to start the season off. We knew it would be close. I am so proud of all the team but have to give a special mention to my guards Lee Powell, Derek Hall and especially Rob Whale.
“To beat a team as good as Titans is a massive achievement for the club, but it’s still only the first game and we have a long hard season ahead of us.”
BEARS 2nds were beaten 54-25 by Titans 3rds in Second Division South.
With a number of forwards missing, this was always likely to be a tough ask for the Bears against a strong Titans team.
Special mention goes to Harry Draper and Aaron Grant, who stepped up to the Bears 2nd team from the 3rds and played with distinction.
BEARS 3rds were defeated 56-35 by a strong Wolverhampton WSC team in their return fixture in Third Division Central.
The fixture provided valuable playing time for numerous Bears players, including the women’s team who took to the floor as a complete squad for the first time this season in preparation for their upcoming games.