San Francisco Rock Dogs take baskeball gold

The San Francisco Rockdogs beat the Long Beach Rebels for the gold medal of the men's basketball A-division at Gay Games VIII, 68-56. San Francisco's C. Johnson led all scorers with 19 points.

The Rockdogs were in control for much of the game with some athletic drives to the basket and break-away steals. The turning point in the game came when the Rebels received two technical fouls and one personal foul on the same play. The Rockdogs got six consecutive technical free throws; Though they only made one of them, they also got the ball back, made that basket, and the Rebels' energy seemed to drain after that. The Rebels did cut the deficit to 7 points with back-to-back 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter, but the Rock Dogs responded with two quick baskets that iced the game.

The Rebels also missed an opportunity early in the third quarter. The Rock Dog's L. Survillion received his fourth personal foul, and Long Beac captain Mark Chambers implored his team to drive the ball at Survillion; However, the Rebels failed to execute the attack and Survillion never fouled out.

In the bronze medal game, the DC Sentinels beat the Sydney Specters, 58-44. American Vice-Consul Matthew Paschke (stationed in Frankfurt) and Consul Chris Grossman (stationed in Düsseldorf), along with openly gay former NFL player Dave Kopay, awarded the three American teams their medals.

As Chambers received his silver medal, everyone in attendance seemed to understand the significance of the moment. Chambers is a legend in the gay basketball world and has been the driving force behind it for over a decade. His was playing in what he says is his last Gay Games, and his emotions overwhelmed him as he bent his head to receive the silver medal. The ceremony stopped briefly for an impromptu standing ovation.

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