Our Wheelchair Basketball Scholar, Jacob Robinson, represented the U23 Great Britain National team in an annual tournament in Japan. Check out everything that happened below!
Well done to Jacob and the rest of the team!
On the 8th of november myself and fellow scholar Harry Blyth began our 24 hours of traveling to the Kitakyushu Champions Cup. After a quick 45 minute flight to Amsterdam and a 2 hour change over time, the 13 hour flight to Fukuoka began.
Upon arrival at the hotel many of us were suffering with severe jet lag so we used our free day to relax and adjust to our surroundings without too much sleep.
The following day, after a solid 13 hours sleep, saw us begin our first training session which started sloppy. However, an hour in we became increasingly clinical and started to look like the GB squad that is feared worldwide.
Immediately following the training we began the first of our friendly games against the Japanese National Team. The game was close throughout, however, despite many key players being rested we managed to pull out a 2 point win, courtesy of a Harry Blyth game winning lay-up.
The next day saw a similar schedule with another training session, which this time, was a very good standard. However, the game this time was against one of the Japanese clubs, Tokyo. A solid start saw us take a commanding lead throughout the first half with solid performances from both the starters and bench guys. The second half saw us pull away from the club side including a personal tally of 16 points, all coming in the second half.
The third day of being in japan was our media/school visit day which saw myself, Harry and various other members of the squad attend a school visit within the city of Kitakyushu. The kids absolutely love the game and treated us like sporting heroes and requested us to sign essentially anything they could get their hands on.
Following this exciting day, the actual tournament began with out opening game against the USA. A commanding performance from us saw us take a 65-26 win over the American outfit.
The second day of the tournament saw us take on an experienced South Korean side. However, a complacent GB side made it incredibly hard work of the game in the first half, with head coach Mathew Foden describing it as the “worst half of basketball” he’s ever seen from a GB U23 team. The second half saw a different team come out of the changing room with a dominant performance from GB’s number 11 Phil Pratt leading to a final score being 50-33 in our favor.
The final day of the tournament saw us play a solid Japanese team, not once but twice. Again the first game was a fairly close encounter but we managed to narrow out a 5 point victory with the game finishing 63-58.
Only hours after the first game it was time for the second game against the same opponents in the final of the Kitakyushu Champions Cup 2015. The game was close throughout the first half, however, the physically imposing nature of the GB squad intimidating the Japanese players saw us dominate the 4th quarter with the game finishing 66-48, crowing Great Britain champions of the annual Kitakyushu Champions Cup!