So rusty was the performance that the only thing 50-49 represented was a win for Hilton Resort Warriors against Pan American International Insurance Warrens in the opening match of the Co-operators General Insurance Limited-sponsored 2018 Basketball Association Premier League season.
Played last night at the Wildey Gymnasium, the game was locked 12-12 at the end of the opening stanza. Warrens then broke the deadlock and led 22-16 and 41-37 at the end of the second and third quarters.
The men in black lost their grip on that slim lead having faltered midway through the fourth and decisive period and allowed Warriors to steal the game.
The scoreboard read 49-48 in favour of Warrens with 30 seconds left to play when Tramaine Shaw nailed a perfectly timed two point shot over the 6ft 10in tall Pearson Griffith which sealed the one-point (50-49) victory for his team.
Justin Pile along with Shaquan Newton, the newest additions to Warriors attack this year, were the only players to register double figures with 16 and 11 points respectively.
Occupying the court for over 28 minutes, Pile had seven of 16 field goals, five of nine two-pointers and two of seven three-point shots. He also accounted for seven rebounds which were the same number Newton had.
The next best scores were eight from Shaw, a contribution of six from Ricardo Toussaint, Nicholai Williams had five and captain Kareem Farrell added four. Those four also had 31 rebounds among them with 11 from Williams, nine by Toussaint, Farrell with six and Shaw five.
With the return of Manuel Alleng from Orange Three Pinelands and Jamar King who did not feature in yesterday’s match-up, Warrens on paper were arguably stronger but clearly, they will need to learn how to gel rather quickly going forward.
Dario Cumberbatch totalled ten points and was the only player for Warrens to reach double figures. Andre Pierre added nine, and there were six points each from Alleng, Brandon Hope, Antone Lawrence and Greg Springer. Captain Pearson Griffith netted four and Clive Jones two.
In terms of rebounds, Alleng tallied 12 with Springer and Pierre pulling down 11 and Griffith ten.
The biggest lead was 12 (32-20) by Warrens in the penultimate period but Warriors seemed hungrier for ball possession than the opposition who were guilty of throwing away several passes.
Victorious coach Frederick Bynoe made good rotations which allowed his team to recover from that deficit and bring themselves back into the contest.
Noticeably missing was Warriors’ top forward Jamar Headley. He is currently injured and will probably miss the majority of the games this season. Headley’s presence was missed as Warriors did not rebound as well as they should have and will need to brush up on that department going forward.
One of the oldest rivalries in league basketball took place last night between Station Hill Cavaliers and defending champions Barbados Lumber Company Lakers and the latter emerged with a four-point 69-65 victory.
Despite having lots ammunition with the return of national players John Jones, Greg Jones and Mark Bridgeman, Lakers led by the reigning league most valuable player and captain Keefe Birkett were unable to stop Cavaliers who led the first two quarters 15-11 and 31-23 before losing their grip (40-43) in the third period. Lakers rebounded well to clinch the win.
Scoring for Station Hill who were coached by Adrian Craigwell were Granville Gittens with 20 points, captain Jason Smith with 11 and Darren Hunte with ten. For Lakers Birkett led from the front with 19 points, Bridgeman had 11 and John Jones contributed ten.