The Brewers sent an early message to the rest of the North Wales Basketball Association with this commanding win over Wyddgrug Magic.
Adam Lloyd’s side featured new recruits Ash Millington, Vlad Coritoru and Hubert Paluch, but was largely the same squad that represented the club last season.
This summer they have put in some serious work however. With Lloyd bringing Niel Gillard into his coaching team, they have increased their intensity and evolved their playing style to build on their fearsome defence.
The first proper battle-test for this refreshed Brewers side was Wyddgrug Magic. They arrived at Blacon High School expecting a tough game but the Brewers took it to them from minuite one, racing into a 25-4 first quarter lead.
Gillard – who has taken on a player/assistant coach role – drove the team on and smart substitutions by Lloyd kept the momentum up as the Brewers led 42-10 at the half. the first half was punctuated by some impressive contributions from Wissam Elkak, Gillard and Luke Sharland-Wong, who made his presence felt in the paint.
Club captain Dave Thomas played a pivital role in facilitating the Brewers offense and coordinating the defence, but he was solidly supported as the team all took responsibility for keeping the pressure on and the defence tight.
Wyddgrug never gave up and fought for every possession, but they simply could not handle the pressure the Brewers applied. The home defence kept them to single figures in every quarter as the Brewers ran away with a blowout victory to kick-off their NWBA campaign.
Gillard earned the MVP honours, scoring 30 points, but was ably supported by Jay Redbond, who scored a canny 18, Sharland-Wong who put up 13 and Elkak with 12.
Special mention for Paluch, who scored on his Brewers debut having signed just a week earlier.
“That was a fantastic start to the season,” said Coach Lloyd afterwards. “Credit to Wyddgrug, they fought hard and they never stopped coming at us.
“But during the off season the Brewers never took a break. We were building momentum last season and we were disappointed in how we finished. We have been putting in the hard yards and working on how we progress to the next level. We knew our strengths and we’ve worked on those things we needed to add to make us better.
“It’s not all about recruitment. We have brought in some fantastic new faces, but it’s also about challenging the guys we already had to raise their game and I think every one of them has.
“The Brewers are a different proposition this year. We’ll see how we end up in this new league format, but I’m having a fantastic time coaching these players and I’m excited to see what we are capable of this year.”