Not even the return of Peter Alleyne it seems can help Pan American Insurance Warrens buy a win in this year’s Co-operators General Insurance BABA Premier League competition.
The three-time MVP, who led Warrens to their first ever title in 2012 before retiring from top flight basketball, watched his side slump to their third successive defeat from the substitute’s bench, as they went down 68-58 to defending champions Orange 3 Pinelands at the Wildey Gymnasium last night.
The result moved Warrens’ record to 0-3 –– after losses to the Schoolboys and the Station Hill Cavaliers –– and left them firmly entrenched at the bottom of the standings.
However, it marked a return to winning ways for Pinelands, who rebounded from defeat in their previous game to move their record to 2-1.
It was always going to be a tough task for Warrens, especially in the absence of their 6’11” centre Pearson Griffith, who was serving a one-game suspension.
Pinelands too were missing a star player in Jeremy Gill, who sat out his second straight game with an ankle injury.
It was actually Warrens who controlled most of the game in the opening half, with Dario Cumberbatch –– given the starting spot in Griffith’s absence –– sparking an early 8-2 run.
He connected on two jump shots and added a two-handed slam in transition to help Warrens jump out to a 22-15 lead
in the first quarter.
That advantage quickly disappeared though, as Ramon Simmons drilled a three-pointer to start the period and Anthony Barrow added a layup and trey to cut the deficit to just two.
Simmons then ensured the Pine would take a slim one-point lead into the half, with his driving layup giving his side a 34-33 lead with 13 seconds remaining before the break.
The game remained close in the ensuing quarter, as both sides entered the final period locked at 48-48, setting the stage for an enthralling finish.
That never materialized though, as Warrens’ offence failed to find a rhythm.
Another long-range bomb by Simmons gave Pinelands the lead for good at 51-48, as Warrens failed to score a basket in the opening three minutes.
Luckily for them, by the time Clive Holder’s layup ended that drought with 6:44 left on the clock, the deficit was just five (55-50).
Even when Pinelands’ coach Renaldo Maughn and his bench picked up technical fouls, Warrens still weren’t able
Layups by Simmons, Hally Franklyn and Junior Moore then helped to cement victory for the Pine, as the lead grew to double digits (66-56) with just under two minutes remaining.
All the while, Alleyne remained rooted to the bench. He didn’t play a single minute of the fourth quarter.
Simmons and Franklyn each score 15 points for the winners, while Charles Vanderpool had 13 points and Moore scored 13 points and grabbed 18 rebounds.
In the night’s first game, the Cavaliers blew open a close contest in the second half on their way to routing the Combined School Tridents 100-57.
The Cavs led by only three at halftime (35-32), before a superb effort on both ends of the floor carried them to their third consecutive victory.
Stephan Mottley led a balanced Cavs attack with 15 points, Corey Howard and Darren Hunte had 13 points each and Kevin Sealy scored 11.
For the Schoolboys Nikolai Burton topscored with 15 and Amal Smith added 12.