The lucky sport chosen to be this year’s opening ceremony was men’s basketball. As usual with the opening event, supporters from both teams packed out the arena, fiercely cheering on their respective teams whilst soaking up the party atmosphere which York attempted to create with the use of flashing disco lights and music to welcome the fans. It was all set up to be a classic.
Just before the game, the commentator introduced each player one by one, with the crowd screaming and chanting for each player. This was the moment for all of these players, as for the next hour so these players had newly found celebrity status.
Of course, this was the opening ceremony and it was basketball, so we were greeted by a performance from York’s cheerleading squad before the game. This really added to the atmosphere and got the crowd going even more, creating an electrifying atmosphere.
As soon as the game started, York were in the lead after 30 seconds through a layup from the man mountain Catuti, but Chow responded instantly with a 3 pointer for Lancaster. From this flying start, it was clear we were in for an instant end to end classic. The quick-fire baskets followed, with Ibs Jalloh, Carlos Gomez and Brandon Pringle all on the scoresheet to to give Lancaster a 10 point advantage going into the first quarter.
At quarter time, in order to make the opening ceremony a continuous spectacle, the cheerleaders returned with another routine. At the start of the second quarter, LUSU VP Activities Jack Walker entered the field for Lancaster to massive cheers, before Raoul Dolcine and Antony Warburton scored free shots to further increase Lancaster’s advantage. York reduced this deficit through Akinrinwa and Chawatama, before quick-fire baskets from Sergio Gomez, Louis Tang and an insanely long range three pointer from Andzis Bogomols gave Lancaster a 13 point advantage going into half time.
Half time still didn’t allow the crowd the opportunity to catch their breath, as we were treated to a performance from York’s dance society and a mini game for the crowd to win tickets for the club night, so there was plenty of entertainment on show during the break.
As the third quarter started, York’s Hoo Wei scored an incredible basket, dancing through Lancaster’s defence to slam home, and this seemed to kick York into life, with Jason Chan coming into his own in the second part of the game. Warburton and Pringle did their best to keep Lancaster’s advantage, and at the end of the third quarter Lancaster led by 12 points.
The cheerleaders returned for the final time during the break, and the final quarter the action erupted, with a mesmerising York comeback, led by Barbatsolas, Catuti, and a player of Roses performance from Jason Chan putting York into a 1 point lead with just 20 seconds to go. Lancaster fought and fought to retake the lead, however York scored once more on the break to win the game 50-47.
A truly magnificent game of Basketball which was heart-breaking for Lancaster, setting the tone for the whole of Roses. Basketball, you were a pleasure to watch and a great choice to open Roses 2017!