National Basketball Championships begin

As of Friday, April 14, 2023


#Senior Sports Reporter

#The return of the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s National Basketball Championships saw the New Providence champions Giants produce mixed results as competition in the weekend tournament got underway at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.

#While the Your Essential Giants prevailed 84-62 over the Net Rippaz from Abaco, the Commonwealth Bank Giants fell to the Abaco Showtime Ballers 75-66 in an upset in the division one encounter as the BBF hosted its first national championships since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world of sports in 2020.

#Despite the split in their games, Commonwealth Bank’s head coach Perry Thompson said their pair of Giants, still basking in their success at the NPBA Finals a few weeks ago, will still be the team to beat at the end of the tournament on Saturday night.

#As for Abaco, pro baller Godfrey Rolle Jr said this is just a taste of what is to come as they rebound from the devastation of Hurricane Dorian that put sports on the back burner as they tried to revitalise their living conditions.

#It came down to who wanted it the most before a sparse crowd of spectators.

#Showtime Ballers 75,

#Giants 66

#Home for a break from playing in Europe, Rolle Jr said he was delighted to be able to lead his Abaco team to a big victory on the opening night of the tournament, which also serves as a prelude to the return of the Bahamas Games in July.

#The national team point guard joined Brandon Meadows in scoring 18 points apiece to pace their attack. Rolle also had eight rebounds, three steals and two assists, while Meadows added seven rebounds with a pair of block shots.

#Chancey Cooper Jr, who formerly played in New Providence, helped out with 17 points and eight rebounds. Versatile Grand Bahamian Leon Cooper, who is also officiating in the tournament, chipped in with nine points with five rebounds and Robert Joseph made his presence felt with six points.

#“We didn’t get a lot of practice in, but it feels good to come out here and get the win,” Rolle Jr said. “This was a good game to test us. Everybody came out and played together. We ran some different line-ups against them to see how we can play it out and we did what we had to do to get the win. More to go.”

#Commonwealth Bank rode the 17 points and three-rebound effort from Dylan Musgrove, while Salathial Dean went to work on the inside with a double-double – 11 points and 14 rebounds.

#Although they also got 10 points from Lerecus Armbrister, nine from Jordan Wilson with seven rebounds, eight points and six rebounds from Jacob and seven points and seven rebounds from Adrian Thompson, it wasn’t enough to secure the win.

#“It was a rough night for us. We were kind of shorthanded. Our bigs were not able to make it down in time, but nevertheless, we gave it our all,” Thompson Sr said. “They played a good game. We just have to come back and rebound tomorrow and get back into the thick of things.”

#The game was keenly contested right up to the fourth quarter when the Showtime Ballers out-classed the Giants.

#In fact, the game was tied at 49-49 at the end of the third. But Abaco took advantage of a couple costly turnovers and they hit a few three-pointers and made the most of their trip to the charity stripe to complete their free throws when it counted the most down the stretch.

#Commonwealth Bank trailed 24-19 at the end of the first quarter, but they fought back to surge ahead 38-36 at the half.

#Giants 84,

#Net Rippaz 62

#Matthew Saunders led a balanced scoring attack for YES with 24 points and two rebounds that rallied from a slow start in the firdt half, but turned up the hest in the second.

#Three other players scored in double figures to aid in their attack.

#Shimar Rolle scored 18 points with five rebounds and a pair of steals; Brandon Strachan had 11 points, four steals, three assists and as many rebounds and Anderias Black had 10 points with five rebounds and two steals.

#For Abaco, Brandon Francis scored 13 points with nine rebounds and Eugene Ferguson contributed 10 points with three rebounds

#“Although we were not at full strength, we have the potential to win this thing, once we can stay out of foul trouble,” said Thompson Sr, who filled in for the YES’ coach Mark Hanna. “We haven’t had a chance to practice since we were off for about two weeks. But like division one, we hope our division II team will win this whole thing.”

#The Net Rippaz came out smoking, taking a 23-19 lead at the end of the first quarter. But tge Giants got their act together and posted a 45-33 advantage at the half. They came out of the break and surged ahead 63-46 at the end of the third a d they coasted to victory the rest of the way.

#The Central Andros Elites were scheduled to take on the South Andros Defenders in another division II contest last night, but that game wasn’t played. The division one nightcap between the Albacone Construction Fugees against the Bimini Marlins was played, but no scores were available at press time.

#The tournament action picks up today at 10;30 am and will continue throughout the day. On Saturday’s final day of competition, action will commence at 9 am, culminating with the championship games in both divisions at 7:30 and 9 pm.

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