Bas­ket­ball bat­tlers to take on the Tall Blacks

Sunday Mail (UK) - - News -

Scot­land’s bas­ket­ball team are ready to make their hooped dreams come true by land­ing a sur­prise Com­mon­wealth Games bronze medal.

The squad have ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions un­der the lead­er­ship of charis­matic coach Rob Bev­eridge.

They were tipped to take a beat­ing from the ram­pant Boomers of Aus­tralia in their semi-fi­nal yes­ter­day.

The Scots went down 103-46 and will face New Zealand’s Tall Blacks in the bronze medal match. Aus­tralia and Canada will play for gold and sil­ver.

Aus­tralia’s 57-point win­ning mar­gin was the largest of any match in the com­pe­ti­tion so far and Bev­eridge, whose fa­ther came from Blan­tyre in La­nark­shire, was frank in his assess­ment.

He said: “There was a stage, in the first half, when we were to­tally shell-shocked by their in­ten­sity.

“We got beaten by a hel­luva team. There was a bit of poo run­ning down our leg at times. The score was a lit­tle em­bar­rass­ing but we’ll dust our­selves down for the New Zealand game.

“This was a tough ex­pe­ri­ence, but noth­ing has changed. We’re look­ing for that bronze medal.”

Be­fore the semi, Bev­eridge said that Scot­land – the rank out­siders of the eight com­pet­ing na­tions on the Gold Coast – were go­ing up against a “multi-mil­lion pound team”.

He com­pared them to a F1 car and they didn’t take long to leave the Scots be­hind in their rear-view mir­ror.

Bev­eridge, who won a gold medal as as­sis­tant coach with the Boomers at the 2006 Com­mon­wealth Games, added: “We’ve done amaz­ing things and are go­ing to re­group, lick our wounds, get our bod­ies right and give our heart and soul against New Zealand.

“We can learn from Aus­tralia’s in­ten­sity. They were so damn or­gan­ised with their pres­sure and they were re­lent­less and ruth­less.

“We had a lit­tle bit of stage fright. I saw some play­ers hang their head and I won’t ac­cept that. We want to stay pos­i­tive and if there’s any­body feel­ing sorry for them­selves, they’ll get my foot up their back­side.

“It’ll be very dif­fi­cult to beat New Zealand but we’ll be go­ing all-in. They’re very ex­pe­ri­enced. They came very close to beat­ing Aus­tralia, so it’s a bit of a sur­prise they aren’t in the fi­nal.”

COLOURFUL Rob Bev­eridge

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