What a year for the Royal Logistic Corps Basketball squad, all 3 teams reached the Army Inter Corps Championships Finals for the first time in over 12 years!
The success this year was down to the dedication of the players but also the preparation delivered by the Corps coaching staff who delivered two training camps. The aim of this year’s training was threefold; assess those new players selected from the RLC Inter Unit Competition, put the entire squad through their paces and provide the opportunity to play competitive games against other Corps and civilian teams. Both events were planned and organised by ladies coach Cpl D Benjamin, who provided fantastic development opportunities for all 3 teams.
Everyone arrived in Grantham determined to succeed; what a start, all three teams won their first games. The men’s teams were in particularly tough leagues and had to play extremely well to get to the semi-finals. Outstanding individual and team performances ensured that both men’s teams got through to the final. The ladies were unbeaten throughout and eased into the semi-final, where they produced an outstanding team performance which led to a good win over a very capable Royal Signals side. So far so good ‘ all 3 teams safely through.
The night before semi-finals, the entire squad got together for a team meal and to award team presentations, each award was voted by the players and coaching staff. The Players’ Player awards went to Cpl D Benjamin, Pte C Doxey and Pte N Pun who also collected the Best Rookie award. Most Improved Player by a landslide vote went to Pte J Sseninde who seemed to be everywhere on court and has developed into a defending machine! We also dined out WO2 (SSM) M Lucas who leaves the Army next year; he has devoted over 13 years to RLC Basketball as a coach and has led the men to numerous titles. The committee and players thank him for his service to Corps basketball and wish him the best of luck in the future.
Finals day finally arrived and all three teams were ready for battle. First up was the Division 2 Final, Sgt L Sharp who had coached his team so well to get to the finals, selected a strong starting 5. They played some outstanding basketball and the game was extremely close throughout; leading by 2 points with 40 seconds to go, it seemed to be in the bag. However, despite their best efforts to defend this narrow lead, the REME scored a 3 point shot in the last 10 seconds, which meant they won the game 67-66.
Disappointed but proud of their achievements, they settled in to support the ladies who were up next. Despite a valiant effort by the Army Medical Services who played with only 5 players, the ladies secured the win with a final score of 54-32 and secured the title for a second year running. The Most Valuable Player (MVP) was deservedly awarded to Cpl K Holden.
Two down, one final to go and after the bitter disappointment of not successfully defending their title in 2015, the Division 1 men had something to prove! What a final it proved to be. It was classic end to end basketball; the lead was exchanged between both teams throughout the entire game and in an exciting last 10 seconds of the fourth quarter, the RLC equalised which took the game into overtime. The noise in the gym was deafening thanks to the very loud support of the Loggies squad. It certainly helped as the men slowly started to command the game. The final concluded with the RLC beating the REME side 87-76, MVP was awarded to Pte C Doxey, a worthy recipient. The team could not have given any more and were deserved champions. For their outstanding individual performances, Sgt G Fostin, LCpl F Murray and Pte C Doxey were also selected to play for the Combined Services squad. As the saying goes, success breeds success. Next year, we aim to make it three out of three ‘ watch this space.