Phoenix in Final Match of Season at Meadowmill

Lothian Phoenix Wheelchair Basketball Club play their final match in their inaugural season in the GBWBA Division Three (North) at Meadowmill Sports Centre on Sunday, 1 April. Tap Off : 11.00a.m.

The team have had a successful first season in the league, and currently sit third in the table with one game to play. If they beat fourth placed Liverpool Vikings on Sunday they will secure third place in the league. Unfortunately, the Lothian club have missed out on promotion to the second division on head to head points difference to Chester Jets. Lose on Sunday by thirteen points or more and they could lose their third place ranking to the Vikings.

Club Captain, Gary Smith said, ″It was disappointing when we lost to Chester a couple of weeks ago as this put an end to our hopes for promotion this season. However, the team bounced back the following day to beat Liverpool Vikings 33-45. Our goal now is to ensure we finish in third place by beating them again at Meadowmill Sports Centre.″

The Lothian Phoenix Wheelchair Basketball Club was established at the start of the 2006-2007 season in order to provide a competition pathway for players living in the East of Scotland. The regional team is based at Bathgate Academy in West Lothian and draws its members from East Lothian, Edinburgh, Fife and Central. In addition, being situated halfway along the M8 has enabled the team to recruit Glasgow based members as well.

The club currently has fifteen registered players and is always on the lookout for more. The rules of wheelchair basketball permit able bodied players to play alongside their disabled teammates. Players are given a point classification (1-5) based on their level of functional ability. 1 point players have a high degree of disability while 4 point players have a high degree of functional ability. Players with a minimal disability are given a 4.5 classification and able bodied players are given a 5 classification. In IWBF competition teams are permitted 14 points on the floor at a time. With able bodied players permitted to play in GBWBA Division One, Two and Three, the points total is raised to 15.

Phoenix Head Coach, Stevie Duff, commented, ″Game coaching is a bit more complicated in the wheelchair game than it is in the running game. Having to ensure we stay below the points total while making substitutions in pressure situations during matches can be a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, one of our players has worked out every possible permutation of players on the court, which I now use to plan substitutions. This helps tremendously.″

For more information about wheelchair basketball contact Stephen Duff, East Lothian Council′s Senior Sports Development Officer on 01875 619068.


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