The Clapham, St Michael hard court should be a hub of activity tomorrow when the semi-final match-ups of the United Insurance-sponsored National Sports Council’s Senior Schools Division 1 Basketball Tournament are played.
The games have been switched to Clapham after the court at the Barbados Community College, where the Division 2 semis were played last week, became unavailable. In any event, this might be a blessing in disguise for semi-finalists Harrison College since it takes away home court advantage from the BCC.
In the first game at 3 p.m. BCC (13-1 season record), favoured by many to take the title once again but whose invincibility was stripped away last week when they suffered their first loss, will take on Harrison College (9-5).
The BCC have a formidable quartet in Kelan Phillips, Stephan Ottley, Jare Alleyne and Lamar Grazette and the Crumpton Street, St. Michael team will have to bring their “A” game if they are to overcome the BCC, who will perhaps still be smarting after their loss. Much will depend on the type of defensive pressure Harrison College can impose on BCC’s potent front court.
Harrison College will hope that the talented Nikolai Burton is on song tomorrow as he showed a propensity to disappear for stretches during some of the preliminary games. Much too is expected from the fleet-footed Anand Joseph-Thorne.
In the second match at 4.30 p.m. the dynamic duo better known as Jamario Clarke and Jimal Singh are expected to lead Combermere’s (11-3) offence as they try to beat the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (10-4) again.
Clarke and Singh have arguably been the most lethal pairing in the competition this year, but the SJPP are not without their weapons as well and much will rest on the talented shoulders of the consistent Nicholas Rouse, Ashley Smith, and Akeem Smith.
This encounter should go down to the wire and could depend on the bench strength of each team.
Prediction: Combermere and Barbados Community College to meet in the finals. (WG)††