Motara leads team to Knockout glory
It was so easy for Pan American International Insurance Warrens Sports Club who captured their maiden Barbados Amateur Basketball Association Division One Knockout trophy last night compliments of an emphatic 88-62 romp over Lakers.
The Warrens team consisting of former national players were in control from the opening buzzer, leading the first three quarters 22-18, 42-28 and 61-49 at the Barbados Community College.
Zahir Motara has been impressive for Warrens throughout the season and Sunday’s final was no different as he led the way with a game-high 27 points in front of appreciative supporters who were brought to their feet after witnessing some fantastic dribbling and execution of shots from the former national captain and shooting guard.
Motara was ably assisted by Peter Alleyne who netted 19 points and Kevin Austin who chipped in with 14.
Speaking with Barbados TODAY after the fabulous win, Austin who has been player and coach with Warrens for the past two years said it was no surprise that they played unbeaten throughout the knockout competition. He explained that the team has been together for a while now and to top it off most of them were former national players whose experience counted during the tournament.
Despite a good effort from Zario Moore top scoring with 21 for Lakers, captain Derek Browne’s 11 and Andre Boadu’s ten, there was no stopping Warrens who created some eye-catching plays that had basketball fans calling for more.
Warrens led the second quarter by just four points and therefore Lakers were still in with a chance to take the lead but Motara and Alleyne did not allow that to happen with six quick points between them that took their side on to 28. Then Austin’s two brought the score to 30-26 and from there they truly began to build noticeable momentum.
With seconds on the board before half-time Warrens had ball possession but could not find Motara or any of the other shooters. Lakers did well to keep them off the ball. But that lasted only for so long as Motara got away from Jamil Jones of Lakers to receive another good pass as he stumbled but still found his balance quickly to nail a superb three-pointer to finish the second quarter on a high with the score 42-28.
Boadu scored three points to start the third quarter as Lakers progressed to 31 but they needed more than those two points and free throws to catch Warrens who went ahead 48-34 at this stage and then got to 50 compliments a series of passes that eventually found Austin for another two.
Lakers had a few chances that they failed to convert and to make matters worse Kirt Forde fouled out. Warrens remained strong on the offensive side and at 58-44 Motara fed Alleyne on the left a ball that he put away for another three.
With less than ten seconds on the board Lakers tried to look positive by upping their defence a notch but it resulted in Jamil Jones fouling Motara beyond the paint who earned himself three free throws that he did not miss.
The clock read 7.7 seconds when Moore eluded his defender and nailed a three-pointer that made it 49 to Lakers and a 12- point lead to Warrens at 61-49. The Lakers thus still had much work to do.
In the fourth and final quarter Warrens picked up from where they left off scoring six straight points that made Lakers called time out. Perhaps it was to really talk it over, to break Warrens’ momentum, or a bit of both. But that talk made no difference because Warrens continue their assault on the Lakers, especially Motara who bagged two consecutive three-point shots that took his side on to a 75-49 score. From the looks on the faces of both Lakers’ players and fans they knew the fat lady was bursting to break out into song.
In fact Warrens were so confident about the win that they began to have fun at this stage and even though Lakers did well to score more than 50 points the trophy was well out of their reach long before the final whistle signaled jubilant Warrens celebrations.