Division one decided; Premier League still up for grabs
After three consecutive finals Patriots are finally the kings of the Co-operators General Insurance-sponsored Barbados Amateur Basketball Association’s Division One competition.
The new champions captured the title after they conquered Newbury 66-52 last night at the Wildey Gymnasium, leading after each quarter 15-11, 30-29 and 45-41. They took the best of three series showdown 2-1.
Meanwhile in the best of five Premier League finals, Pan American Insurance Warrens went ahead 2-1 after they demolished reigning champions Orange Three Pinelands 81 -51, after leading at the quarter breaks 15-5, 35-22 and 52-35.
Speaking after the game player and coach for Patriots, Damien Gaskin, told Barbados TODAY after losing two consecutive finals to Garrison Chargers in 2013 and Burger King Clapham Bulls in 2014, they were determined to break the ice this year.
“Newbury played hard but this was our year and nothing was stopping us because we came as a team and it’s basically the same team for all three years and we battled hard and achieved. All five men rebounded in this final because we played a far bigger team than we were, so everybody had to rebound.
“But our advantage was quickness. So once we rebounded we could get out on the [fast] break, attack them when they were tired and just contain their best two scorers Kevin and Stevenson,” explained Gaskin, who scored 11 points in the game.
It was Patriots power forward Julian Walcott who did most of the damage with 20 points along with 18 from shooting guard Shawn Ifill and nine from Andre Stoute. Kevin Patterson was the only player to reach double figures for Newbury with a top score of 21 points.
Patriots definitely got off to a good start in the first quarter and tried to push their lead but Newbury fought well to pull the match back when Patriots were up 21-18. Newbury’s Orlando Goodridge scored a three-pointer to level the scores at 21. Patriots however regained the lead with a three-point shot from Ifill that put them back in the lead on 24 and Newbury were made to trail once more.
Walcott was on fire for Patriots in the penultimate quarter and between him and Ifill managed to take apart Newbury’s defence even though Patterson put in a pleasing effort and managed to score two to put Newbury on 40.
Patriots still kept the advantage by four points 45-41 leading into the decisive quarter in which Patterson started off with a bang for Newbury, nailing a three pointer to the delight of team supporters. Ifill wasted no time from outside the circle with a three of his own, followed by a free throw and a two-pointer from Stoute which put the champions on 51 points and it was from there that they took the momentum and never looked back.
In the other game Pinelands were without the services of shooting guard Ramon Simmons who had to sit out last night’s game due to an injury he picked up in his rib area.
Pinelands got off to a slow start as they scored just five points in the opening quarter that was dominated by Warrens power forward Dario Cumberbatch who top scored with 23 points and point guard Andre Lockhart who chipped in with 18. Those were the only two who reached double figures while Jeremy Gill top-scored with 12 points and Junior Moore tallied 10 for Pinelands.
Warrens basically took their momentum from the first quarter through to the second. A two-pointer from Lockhart and consecutive three pointers pushed them to 27 points soon after the break. Some further excellent offensive moves and they were on 35 points while Pinelands struggled on 22 points leading into the penultimate period.
Warrens really took the attack to Pinelands after the break. Their lanky guard Peter Alleyne took on the responsibility of marking Pinelands biggest man on the court Charles Vanderpool who tried but just could not make the kind of impact he wanted to on both the offensive and defensive boards.
Adrian Allman scored a three-pointer along with two free throws to move Warrens to 50 points and two from George Farrell made it 52. Dwaine Pollard hit a three-pointer just before the buzzer for Pinelands who only tallied 13 points in the third quarter to end on 35 at the break.
In the fourth quarter Warrens continued their domination but an injury to one of their star players Lockhart who was struck in the back of his left knee by Pollard caused them a bit of bother. In fact he was forced to leave the court for attention but returned minutes later to finish off the job for Warrens who can possibly win the title tomorrow if they get past Pinelands again. The latter must win game four at the Wildey Gymnasium to stay alive in the series.