The opening night of the inaugural Digicel NexGen Under-23 Independence Basketball Invitational got off to an impressive start with Burger King Bulls, Discover 246 Cavaliers and Gatorade Pinelands all registering wins.
Playing Thursday night at the Barbados Community College, Cavaliers and Bulls both ended on eight-point in the standings while Pinelands were third on seven points.
Tournament organizer Zahir Motara told Barbados TODAY the event was structured in such a way that for each quarter a team won they automatically earned two points.
In the featured game of the night Cavaliers slammed Challengers 82-39 (27-15, 45-25, 67-34) to start the competition on a high note.
Cavaliers star forward Joel Hunte led from the front during yesterday’s opener with a game-high 24 points in the under-23 showdown. They also had Romario Hutson scoring 15 points, Stephan Ottley 13 and Zachary Cave, ten.
Challengers had a number of young national under-16 players who tried to match up against the likes of Hunte, Ottley and Anand Joseph-Thorne who all play Premier League basketball for Cavaliers. Clearly this was no contest as Adrian Craigwell’s men lived up to expectations especially on the defensive end and Challengers managed just five points in the final quarter.
In the other two games contested, Pinelands with another good line-up of talent were victorious against Vega Investments Warrens 62-40 (18-20, 35-26, 50-33) in what was another one-sided affair for the Charles Vanderpool-coached team.
Justin Pile with 20 points and Derion Hurley with 15, top-scored for Pinelands. Scoring for Warrens Brandon Hope had 12 points and Jonathan Dottin netted ten.
Meanwhile Burger King Bulls won 71-26 (13-10, 29-18, 49-22) over Pirates who clearly did not bring their best game on court last night. None of their players made it into double figures while for Bulls there were contributions of 19 points from Kelan Phillips, 12 from Jimal Singh and ten from Akindele Licorish.