Basketball battlers to take on the Tall Blacks
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