Hold on tight sports fans as the release of the much anticipated sequel to the Stallone classic, Cliffhanger, was made on Monday night to a packed audience of ballers at the Australian Institute of Sport. While Stallone himself panned the movie his replacement, Dan Bray, made sure you barely noticed he wasn’t there with his convincing performance on court.
The story follows an everyday basketballer who is lacking in confidence after a previous setback led to the loss of an important game. Forced into service when terrorists working for the Muppets For The Liberation of Sesame Street or the MFTLSS for short, take over the stadium, Gabe Walker must use all his wit and skill to rescue the basketball game from certain defeat.
The release was made to coincide with Bray’s real-life basketball game: Pirates v J. Ballers at the AIS.
In the first half, the game was all Pirates who, despite a slow start, managed to build-up an impressive 14 point lead over the J-Ballers thanks to some strong drives and shots from Brett Butler (11 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists). An early setback in the first quarter forced Ben Roberts (2 points, 1 rebound) from the court barely two minutes into his return from injury.
Feeling an uneasy confidence at half-time the Pirates knew they were going to face a resurgent J Ballers for the next twenty minutes and that their 14 point lead was not enough for a victory lap just yet. They weren’t wrong.
The J Ballers turned-up the heat much like Gram’ma Funk turns up the volume on everything she does. J1 (Jack Nunn – 13 points, 5 steals, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) and J2 (Jack Craig – 7 points, 4 steals, 2 rebounds) lead the charge defensively against the Pirates, inspiring their team to come-up with 18 steals, 9 in the final quarter alone!
Clearly rattled by the intense pressure brought by the Ballers, the Pirates committed a whopping 24 turnovers, most coming in the latter portion of the game. Scoring literally dried-up for the Pirates and they were relying on their half-time lead and the clock to get them to their third win of the season.
The J Ballers were better on paper than the Pirates in almost every department with the Pirates ability to out-rebound the Ballers being a factor in their escape from defeat.
Pirates coaching staff will need to come-up with a new strategy if they expect the same result next time these teams play each other.