Orange Three Pinelands are one game away from lifting the 2016 Barbados Amateur Basketball Association Premier League title.
Last night at the Barbados Community College they won game two in the best of five series final 81-78 over Station Hill Cavaliers to give the Cavs a major mountain to climb. After the first three quarters the scores read 21-12, 40-40, 55-55.
Again Pinelands’ point guard Jeremy ‘Bull’ Gill led the way with a game-high 21 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists. Junior Moore finished with 18 points and also had 11 rebounds, eight defensive and three on the offensive end.
Shooting guard Ramon Simmons netted 14 points and Ian Alexander had three block shots, which were the most by anyone on the Pinelands team, as well as ten points in the game. With the exception of Simmons, Pinelands’ starting five each spent more than 30 minutes on court and were relentless in their efforts.
That was the difference between the two coaches Renaldo Maughan of Pinelands and Adrian Craigwell of Cavaliers. Craigwell rotated his players consistently with the exception of captain Jason Smith who was the only player on court for more than 30 minutes.
Pinelands sought to break their rhythm each time with fast breaks but that did not stop Cavaliers forward Darren Hunte from making an impact with a top score of 19 points. Saeed Norville contributed 15 and Smith ten. But theirs was not enough to prevent Pinelands under the captaincy of Charles Vanderpool from clinching yet another intense three-point win.
With the scores tied 40-40 at half-time fans waited in anticipation of an exciting climax when the penultimate quarter commenced. Pinelands were the ones who got things off and running and extended their lead by four. Then Vanderpool, Moore and Gill with two pointers took their team’s tally to 51.
Cavaliers needed to respond urgently before the game slipped away and at 51-44 that is when Kevin Sealy and Smith scored respective twos to keep the match alive. Three minutes and six seconds were on the clock when Pinelands were up by three points 51-48 in the third quarter and Norville sank both the basket and the foul as the clock was running down. Gill tried to make a last-minute run for it and was given enough room on the offensive end and made good use of those opportunities. But the men from Station Hill, with some lovely moves off the dribble and accurate shooting, managed to level the scores at the end of the third quarter.
When the fourth and decisive quarter began Pinelands took an early lead with Gill being the one to take them on to 61 and then followed that up with a good pass to Derion Hurley for another two. The clock on the scoreboard seemingly began to tick over at a rapid rate as the points began to flow for both sides and at 71-70 to Pinelands Hunte earned two free throws to give Cavaliers the lead 72-71. Simmons then nailed one of his three point shots and to make matters worse for Cavaliers Sealy gave away possession to Moore who put the ball through the hoops with less than a minute to play.
Joel Hunte the brother of Darren was not as aggressive in this second game as he was in the first game but managed to score a three-pointer for Cavaliers when it mattered most. However, Gill and company are the best defensive unit in the league and did what was necessary to deny Cavaliers the win.
Game three final will be play this Saturday at the BCC starting at 7 p.m.