Bulls claim third with exciting 56-55 win against Kings
Retrieve Raiders showed their prowess by delivering another exciting 58-51 victory over the Victory Valley Royals beating them in this the final of the Linden Amateur Basketball Association’s 2011/12 Under 23 championship game played on Saturday night at the Mackenzie Sports Club Hard Court.
Guard Sheldon Noel, who sat out of the semifinal game when the Raiders eliminated the Kashif and Shanghai Kings, returned to lead his side with 18 points in a game which was everything one would hope for in a final.
The game was tense and filled with several brilliant plays as the first quarter ended in favour of the Royals who had five players contributing as their most accomplished players Chris Williams and Marlon Pollydore showed early form for a 12-10 advantage.
However, the Raiders’ offence was looking more balanced and they took the lead from a Noel penetration with 4:38 to go for a 17-16 advantage and in tandem with Geoffrey LaRose the Raiders looked like taking the initiative before but Williams held things together for Royals with eight of their last nine points scored in this second quarter as the first half ended even at 25.
Excellent team play resulted with the raiders opening up a 36-29 lead in the pivotal third quarter, but back to back 3 pointers from Pollydore and Williams saw the Royals within reach 35-36 before big forward Yannick Primo, going to the free throw line, pushed the Raiders up by three before Williams went down the lane to ensure the Raiders lead was reduced to one, 38-37 at the end of the third segment.
Theodore Tappin drove through traffic to give the Royals the lead going into the fourth quarter and Pollydore handed his side a 41-38 cushion. Noel then responded scoring his team’s next five points, enabling them to level the scores at 43 with 6:46 left. Forward Deval Wilson first went to the line to sink two shots and another basket sent his side ahead, 45-43, before Williams scored off an offensive rebound to knot the scores.
Williams then made another basket as his Royals took the lead 47-45 and then had a free shot making it 48-45 before Wilson measured in with another basket as the Royals were leading 48-47. But Noel came up with back to back baskets as the Royals moved into control and the lead 51-48 for good with 2:15 left in the game. Williams was to make another free shot, but Noel matched him at the free throw line to pull the Raiders into a 54-50 advantage and they never looked back to rally to a final score winning in the end 58-51 as the Riyals choked in the final strait.
Noel ended with his team’s best individual score of 18 points, while Yannick Primo had 10 with Deval Wilson and Geoffrey LaRose each adding eight points to the winning score for the Raiders.
Royals as usual were led by the duo of Williams with 25 game high points and Pollydore with 11 as the next best score was recorded by Anthony Morris with five points.
In the third place playoff match, the GTS Half Mile Bulls scored a thrilling 56-55 win over the Kashif and Shanghai Kings who were condemned to fourth on a big shot from down town with 14 second left as the Bulls saw a 56-54 victory disappear on the 3-point shot made by Jashon Braithwaite for a one point 57-56 win for the Bulls.
The Bulls top scorers were Michael Turner with 16 as Jashon Braithwaite got 13 and Travin Dryden had 12.
Kings top scorers were Quincy Easton with 22, Akeel Primo had 13 and Orin Rose 12.
The presentation saw president of the LABA, Captain Eon Murray, handing over the winning trophy donated by Unique Entertainment to the captain of the Raiders team Omar Sam, while the second placed trophy was donated by ‘Country’ and Andrew Persaud and received by the captain of Royals Chris Williams, while the Raymond Padmore trophy was won by the Bulls and the fourth place trophy, donated by LABA Committee Member Clyde Brush was handed over by LABA Committee Member Ms June Harris.
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