Scorchers jetted North to kick off the BBL Cup against the new Caledonia Gladiators. A positive for the Scorchers saw starting centre Boban Jacdonmi return from concussion protocol to face his former club, alongside American Padiet Wang who arrived at the Scorchers camp this week.
The travelling side still suit up short handed without Captain Tayo Ogedengbe, veteran guard Andrew Lawrence and American Shakem Johnson.
Jacdonmi wins the tip and opened the scoring for Surrey with a mid-range jump shot.
The opening minutes of the game both teams traded baskets including a strong drive to the rim to see Padiet Wang score his first points in the Scorchers Jersey.
Scorchers errors led to transition plays for Glasgow finishing at the rim with contact and heading to the free throw line. The new Gladiators American Adams caught fire from beyond the arc to push out a 10-point lead half.
Jalen Ray stops the bleeding early in the 2nd quarter with and quickly narrows the deficit to a 2-point game.
Neck and neck throughout the first 5 minutes Gladiators find success off the pick and roll whilst scorchers look to get the ball inside and finish at the rim.
Momentum shifts after a put back dunk from Caledonia’s Bailey, followed by an and-1 finish from the Scotland native Fraser Malcom. Some defensive lapses result in Gladiators finishing the half leading by 12 points.
Scorchers keep the game within 10 points after Josh Steel joins in taking onboard some of the scoring load. Gladiators crash the offensive glass for a pair of easy second chance points.
A deep three from Wang and locking in on defence sees the Scorchers get out in transition and chip away at the difference again to bring the game within 5 points.
Unable to break this barrier Gladiators run the score back up behind buckets from Bailey and Sloan. Bunyun hits a signature corner 3 to extend it to 12 points separating both teams.
Steel replies with a three of his own and Busumbru floats one up to close out the third quarter trailing by 7.
Scorchers defence unable to stop Tape as the Gladiators once again try to stamp out the game early. Still battling Steel looking back finds the net from range and dances in the paint pivoting around the Gladiators defence for 2 points.
Once again Scorchers in striking distance trailing by 5 after a 6-0 run from the surrey side. Caledonia reply to steady the ship and execute on Scorchers errors to push the lead back to 10 points.
With too much to do in the last minutes of the game, Gladiators take the 81 – 72 win and advance in the BBL Cup. A great performance from Scorchers Josh Steel finishing the game with 20 points and 100% from beyond the arc.
The Scorchers will look to take away the positives and build on this performance as the Surrey side return home to take on the reigning champs Leicester Riders.