The UTM Men’s Division 1 basketball team revved up to a blazing start against the St. George Phys Ed team on Wednesday, November 17 at the Recreation, Athletic, and Wellness Centre from 8 to 9:45 p.m.
Division 1 cruised through the gym floor, averaging three successful baskets every five minutes, and they landed in the lead with a score of 12-5 in the first 20 minutes. Around 30 guests showed up to support their home team and cheered as they squatted on the bleachers.
A combination of dunks and free throws helped keep the score at the top until Phys Ed managed to overtake Division 1 by the second half with a series of consecutive baskets.
“Later on, our offence picked up as we got used to the gym and the rims and there was no looking back from there,” said Sasha Malic, who scored the majority of the baskets for the Phys Ed team. Malic claimed that the reason his team was slow at first may have been because they were more used to the Athletic Centre at the St. George campus.
The half-time siren blared through the gym as players from both teams rested, huddled, and prepared themselves on the benches across from the bleachers. The score board above read 29 under Division 1 and 36 under Phys Ed before the second half.
The second half started slow, with fewer baskets from both teams and stronger defence from Phys Ed’s side. Fouls committed by Division 1 favoured Phys Ed as they had several “and 1” attempts and were successful in over 75% percent of their free throws from the line.
“Our defence was pretty stagnant and we should have applied more pressure in order to get more shots,” said Elias Sbiet of Division 1. It was evident that the defence was struggling in the first half, as they were down nine points heading into the break. The offensive pressure was a little too much for Division 1 to handle and they found themselves in foul trouble early.
Division 1’s Jonathan Harvey and Osama Abdelkader did succeed in making a reasonable amount of shots with their speed, aim, and dribbling ability, but it wasn’t enough to reach Phys Ed’s score.
“There wasn’t enough movement and cooperation between the players,” said Han Wang of Division 1.
St. George’s Phys Ed team eventually won the game with 70 points and defeated UTM Division 1 who finished with 55 points. Division 1 played hard and kept the tempo up as much as possible, but unfortunately they fell short in the end.
Sasha Malic spoke after the game and reflected on his team’s perfomance, saying, “Keys to our game were definitely team defence and
communication, which allowed us to flow into our offence more smoothly and execute. It was a really fun game and we really enjoyed the competition.”
The game wasn’t the last of the rivalry, as Division 1 will be looking for redemption in the next meeting between the two.
Students can check out future schedules on UTMAC’s Facebook page and at the main website for the Department of Physical Education www1.utm.utoronto.ca/~w3physed.