Aug 31, 2008 Sports Comments Off on LABA Basketball Festival: Sugar too sweet for Raiders
Dwayne ‘Sugar’ Roberts’ ‘game’ Friday night at the Mackenzie Sports
Club basketball court was too sweet for lackluster Raiders! His obvious intention was to make it clear that he is still one of the premier players in the centre position in Guyana.
Roberts’ club: Victory Valley Royals eliminated Alleyne’s Retrieve Raiders from the Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) Festival with a 59–38 win that launched them into tonight’s semi–finals against Wismar Pistons.
Sugar overwhelmed Raiders to come away with 17 points while support came from rising junior star, guard Chris Williams’ 10 points. Omar Sam was the only player in double figures for the Retrieve–based team with 12 points.
In the preceding game, Kashif and Shanghai Kings romped into the final–four–round with a 65– 50 triumph ahead of Patriots. Steve Neils Jr. led the way for Kings with 19 points while Dale Williamson had 11 points.
Patriots’ Neil Marks scored 20 points in a losing effort for the breakaway Kings team; most of the players that make up Patriots were former ‘Kings’ but a disagreement sometime last year forced them to form the team, Patriots.
Kings will play Jets in the other semi–final game. The penultimate round of the competition is expected to get underway at 7pm tonight.
In the feature game Friday night, ‘Sugar’ drew all the defensive flies whenever the ball was given to him in the post. With the scores leveled 10–10 in the second quarter, he scored six consecutive points from the area.
Forward Orlando Glasgow threw down a big three–pointer that increased the lead to 19–10 with three minutes remaining before halftime. Royals went on to score 13 more points in the quarter to end ahead at 32–14.
Raiders outscored Royals in the first half of the third period 6–4 but the disparity was too great for the minor achievement to have any effect. Roberts scored the next three points to expand his team’s lead to 39–20 heading to the final period.
The third quarter ended 44–22 with Raiders halfway behind on offense. The team from Retrieve, however, had their opportunities to at least keep their scorecards ticking, but their conversion ratio was well below par.
Consecutive three–point jumpers in the final period confirmed a certain win that looked ominous from the second quarter. Tonight’s match–ups are expected to be the crowning moment of the tournament since it began two Sundays ago.
Royals will have to find a way to combat the threat of Pistons’ forwards Trevor Profitt, Quincy Jones and guard Nevin Grenville. The three players bring experiences that led them to the national first division title last year.
Conversely, Roberts will be the main worry for Pistons. Based on their roster, there is no player included that can stop him at the bottom. The one advantage for Pistons is the fact that Roberts don’t have a consistent supporting cast.
The semi between Kings and Jets is more imbalanced than the one between Pistons and Royals because of the depth of Kings. Jets got this far in the competition with a truncated bench but will not proceed with the same against Kings.
Guard Neil Simon along with forward Akeem Khanai and centre Allister Webster are the important players for Jets but Kings is too much of a superior team to allow three players to beat them when they can throw up about nine in contrast. The competition won’t get any better than tonight’s games.
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