Pinelands lose their title in four games
Pan American Insurance Warrens are the new kings of Premier League basketball on the island.
Last night at the Wildey Gymnasium they dethroned Orange Three Pinelands beating them 76-60 to capture the best of five series 3-1 in the Cooperators General Insurance-sponsored Barbados Amateur Basketball Association competition. Warrens led after the three intervals, 19-13, 34-28 and 58-42.
Warrens’ star player and point guard Andre Lockhart ended the game with 16 points and was award the most valuable player trophy. Lockhart told Barbados TODAY it was challenging playing with a new team this season but was elated with the end result especially being awarded with the individual top prize.
“It was challenging at first [playing with Warrens] because you usually have to learn people and I am used to playing in a team with a lot of shooters and this team [Warrens] does not have a lot of shooters but [otherwise] it was fun,” said Lockhart, who added that the finals were very competitive and believed that it was their defensive intensity that got them past Pinelands who had made it into the finals for the past three years.
“It was our defence [that won the game for us] and we were a lot more athletic and everytime we had a steal we had a runner especially people like Dario [Cumberbatch] and I am supposed to be one of the quickest on court. So people like him made it easier on me and all the guys just did a great job,” said the 29-year-old who plays professional basketball in Germany and sees a fruitful relationship with local team Warrens from here on.
“Basketball does not last forever and to be honest I think I have two or three good years left in me and then after that, I think it will be Warrens because a happy family is a good family. I can’t deal with a lot of selfishness and this team is actually family oriented and I love it,” he said.
Despite a top effort of 18 points from Pinelands shooting guard Ramon Simmons who returned from injury, they still could not contain Warrens who produced an all-round team effort led by power forward Dario Cumberbatch who has had a good season and tallied 17 last night. George Farrell and Greig Springer had nine each, Manuel Alleng scored eight, Peter Alleyne added seven and Pearson Griffith contributed six which went to the team’s final success.
Pinelands guard Jeremy Gill nursing an injured left shoulder and captain Charles Vanderpool did not have much of an impact as many of their fans might have been hoping for and they both ended on 11 and nine points respectively.
When the first quarter commenced Lockhart opened with two points and after Warrens reached eight points Pinelands finally managed to get on the scoreboard through Vanderpool with two as they began to fight back. But Adrian Allman with a three-pointer ensured Warrens opened up their lead by 19 points even though Vanderpool responded with a long three-point shot of his own close to the end of that quarter and moved Pinelands to 13 points.
When the second half began Pinelands showed more urgency and they managed to bring themselves back into the game somewhat as only two points (30-28) separated them from Warrens who were good both on the defensive and offensive end. One example was Cumberbatch in the backcourt who benefited from several turnovers. He was frequently fed passes and took on Pinelands’ shaky defence to score easily. Sometimes Pinelands found themselves in a three on one situation where they only had one defender as Cumberbatch and his cohorts attacked relentlessly for Warrens.
It was plays like that which Warrens used to their advantage and allowed them to up their momentum from the second half and expand their lead.
That made life even harder for Pinelands who began to play overly physical, especially on Lockhart. In fact between Lockhart and Cumberbatch they scored 14 free throws as a result of the frequent fouls. Among the culprits for Pinelands were Halley Franklyn who had one technical after hitting Lockhart and Simmons who had two technical fouls for his unsportsmanlike play on Cumberbatch and had to leave the court in the fourth and decisive quarter with the score on 68-49 to Warrens.
But the rough play could not prevent Warrens from marching to a deserved lifting of the coveted trophy.