In the first half of the season Calne of Chippenham came to Bristol and Braves beat them in an exciting tussle which came down to the last seconds of regulation time. In the Cup / Plate competition in February, Braves drew Calne in the knockout and Calne at home, thrashed the Braves convincingly despite a spirited performance. This time round in the league fixture Braves were determined to make amends for the knockout and steal a home and away win in the league.
In these latter stages of a season its ALL about learning from your mistakes in the earlier part of the season and representing on court in all aspects of the game and Braves did just that last night. Playing a variety of defenses and offenses, adapting to the opponents as well as taking it to the opponents, each man giving it his all. Trying to lead by example Colin GILL (who has been known to sleep in his full Braves kit since he is so passionate about his club and team!!) joined the action in the 2nd Qtr to inject some urgency and 'ummpphhh' among his team mates. Netting and converting a three point 'AND-1' play and then celebrating it loudly!! his teammates responded and Braves finished the 3rd Qtr 50 - 42. Teammates like Rowan CHERVIANSKI hit an outstanding 16 points and picked up rebounds all night. Luc SZMUC had one of his best games this season, really showing passion in a Braves vest, dishing out a series of awesome blocks on defence and mixing up his offence with points from 3pt range, mid range and some excellent driving causing his opponents all manner of problems. Pau CARDONA's defence was also awesome on the night, working hard for his team and racking up the steals without getting into foul trouble. Of course his 27pts didn't harm the cause <smiles> and with 5 minutes left of the 4th Braves were up 69 - 56.
Despite all these positives, Braves fell back into familiar territory in the last five minutes allowing their opponents to get back into the game and squandering a 13pt lead. This is one of those 'learning from your mistakes' moments!!! In the team talk at timeouts Braves were told to not get into foul trouble and to remain composed on offence in order to control the clock and therefore the game...it simply wasn't heeded. Braves only have themselves to blame shooting the ball for 3pt'ers in the first 6 seconds of an offence when you are comfortably in the lead. Similarly, giving away unsportsmanlike and technical fouls at key moments of the game . As the lead fell away only Malin WHITE offered the resolve that Braves needed with three coast to coast lay ups during the pressure situation, but even our star PG found himself fouled out before the end of the fourth. So much is Malin's influence that in the team huddle, Coach called for the team shout, "1, 2, 3...TEAM" but his sub-conscious resulted in him yelling, "1, 2, 3...MALIN!!!" <smiles>
The drama and excitement of this clash was prolonged as the match went into overtime. Once again Braves started strong, establishing a 7pt lead, only to once again make the same mistakes they made at the end of the fourth. Learning from our mistakes and growing as a team is the only weakness this team now has....EASILY solved!!!...we'll have to play with our HEADS as well as our HEARTS!!
Match MVP: Malin WHITE
Coach MVP: Luc SZMUC