UKAF Basketball Team Test Themselves Against Top Opposition

The men's and women's squads took on the Bristol Flyers and the Plymouth Raiders.

The UK Armed Forces Basketball team have taken on two professional teams in Plymouth.

Across the court from the UKAF women was Bristol Flyers.

The military side put up a good fight, though eventually were overmatched by a well-organised outfit.

The 57-32 defeat for UKAF reflected a tightly fought contest, but Corporal Millie Cavanagh, always knew her UKAF side were in for a test: "We were expecting a press from them… a lot of pressure, but we adapted and got better throughout the game."

The UKAF Women put up a fight against the Bristol Flyers.

Head coach for both UKAF men's and women's teams, Flight Lieutenant Alistair Way, said they could “take positives” from the contests.

The day, which also saw the Plymouth Raiders rush to a home-victory of 96-39 over the UKAF men, highlighted the unusual role held by Flt Lt Way.

He says that working with both squads at once is "unique".

"You have to play to the strength of each team and understand what it is that motivates them", he said.

“It is unique…but it becomes a strength because it brings both of the teams together."

Having achieved their goal of keeping the British Basketball League side below 100 points, UKAF men’s Senior Aircraftman Gabriel Cousins reflected the double-digit experience: "Playing against top-level teams, you learn a lot more a lot quicker.

"Against lower level teams, even though you might win, you don’t learn as much."

The teams will have further tests in Glasgow in preparation for November's SHAPE tournament. 

The international military competition takes place in Belgium, welcoming basketball squads from NATO countries - including the United States.

Last year, women participated for the first time.