Burger King Clapham Bulls and Cougars emerged victorious over ACS United and Challengers respectively last night at the Wildey Gymnasium, when week two of the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association’s Division 1 League action continued.
Cougars were demoted last year from Premier League basketball back to division one and no doubt they will seek to knock at the big teams’ door once more for this 2016 season. They began their campaign yesterday with a 68-57 win over Challengers thanks mainly to Ricardo Jemmott with a top score of 19 points. Shawn Gaskin chipped in with 18 points and Stevenson Callender added 13. Challengers led 23-16 at the end of the first quarter but Cougars changed the game plan and came from behind to take the lead at the end of the second and third quarters 36-35, 48-42, and never looked back.
Ramon Ward scored 14 and there were 12 points each from Julian Grant and Nicholas Collymore for Challengers. The encounter got interesting after half time when the scores were 36-34 and Callender with three consecutive baskets took Cougars’ total to 42. It was from there that Challengers were put on the backfoot and had to put in that extra work on the offensive end in order to keep themselves in the game and ensure that Cougars did not extend their lead even more.
However Neil Patrick with back to back baskets and Nicholas Collymore with a deft finger roll lay-up to made it 42 to Challengers. But a collective effort among Gaskin, Catlyn and Callender allowed Cougars to lead by six points 48-42 heading into the decisive quarter.
In the fourth quarter Callender started with two to carry Cougars on to 50 and from there on it was smooth going to the basket for the former division one kings. It seems as though Challengers A’s defenders went to sleep coming on to the end of the encounter and Jemmott, a former national player, took full advantage with a few steals. And if that was not the case he waited patiently for his teammates to capitalize on a few turnovers and send the ball his way in backcourt for easy lay-ups. In fact the lanky lad top-scored with ten points in the final quarter and was given support by his teammate Gaskin who accounted for six points coming on to the end.
In the other game former national player Ryan Leacock ended with a game-high 27 points inclusive of five three pointers for Clapham Bulls who were victorious (7-7, 15-15, 29-26) 44-32 against ACS United. Laron Elliott also scored ten in the game for Bulls while for ACS Romell Marshall tallied 13.