Hoops queens

PINELANDS DEFEAT POWERHOUSES CAVALIERS TO TAKE BASKETBALL CROWN

Some say that in every setback there is a bounceback, a tenet to which Preferred Insurance Brokers Pinelands, the new queens of the 2017 #1 Beauty Supplies and Beauty ExchangeBarbados Amateur Basketball Association Knockout, can attest.

Emerging on the scene of women’s basketball for the very first time last year, Pinelands ensured their presence was felt as they won the league title against Hoopsters now known as Lady Tridents.

And just when they had their eyes set on lifting the knockout trophy as well in 2016, an unforeseen circumstance came their way, as they were unable to field a team and had to withdraw from the competition. Hence, last night’s 69-46 victory over Fusionz Boutique Lady Cavaliers at the Barbados Community College was all the sweeter for Pinelands ladies and their proud supporters. The led at each quarter 16-14, 30-20, 50-35.

Pinelands women celebrating their victory.

Cavaliers, the powerhouse team of women’s basketball on the island with an admirable 24 titles to their name consisting of 13 league and 11 knockout, came into the match-up confident that they would add trophy number 12 (knockout) to their already well-decorated cabinet. They were led by the trio of former national players Astrid Alleyne and Shakira Shorey, two veterans of the game, along with Ria Phillips, another former national point guard.

However, yesterday in the contest refereed by Barbados’s best in Rene Batson, Cavaliers seemed to have found their match on court facing off against fellow former national players Sade Clarke who scored 13 points in the game, as well as Tamisha Flatts and Maria ‘Flowers’ Cumberbatch who both netted 15 and Latifah Wood who top-scored with 20.

Meanwhile, for Cavaliers in their traditional green uniforms, Alleyne ended the game with a total of 17 points, Jada Saunders had ten, former Springer Memorial schoolgirls Winmalicia Bowen and Shorey contributed eight and four points respectively. Phillips did not add to the score, which summed up her night.

Alleyne and Shorey are both power forwards who can hold their own in the post on any given day, but Pinelands shooting guards Clarke, Flatts and Cumberbatch, penetrated to the basket from all angles last night.

Another excellent strategy from Pinelands was the fact that they incorporated power forward Latifah Wood this year into their lineup to assist her namesake Anicia Wood, a national volleyball player. Those two were effective, ensuring that Alleyne and Shorey were kept quiet and did not capitalize too much on offensive rebounds.

Cavaliers completed the double in 2015, took a one-year break last year (2016), returned this year to competitive basketball action and were able to breeze into the knockout final. That is more than enough inspiration needed coming up against a dynamic Pinelands unit who led at the end of every quarter before eventually securing the trophy by a 23 points margin.

Clarke told Barbados TODAY after the game that yesterday’s victory was nothing they did not expect, knowing very well who and what they were up against. She said, more importantly, the team was unchanged from last year except for the one inclusion of Latifah Wood, which boosted their defence significantly.

“Respect is due always to veterans like Astrid Alleyne and Shakira Shorey, a team that has about three national players, so respect is due. But we had enough national players of our own, to come in as confident as we can. Our guards we are known for running, so our guards just run the court and let our forwards guard Astrid and Shakira in the post, so, all in all, it was a rounded team effort. We came ready. We basically have the same team from last year with one addition and I think that was the perfect addition because we already have several guards and we needed a big,” Clarke said.

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