By Edison Jefford
Retrieve Raiders will try to tame Half Mile Bulls on Saturday in a grudge game scheduled for the Mackenzie
Sports Club (MSC) Hard Court in Linden at 9pm. The two teams have an outstanding feud from the Malta Supreme Final that Bulls won early in January.
The younger Bulls trampled the experienced Raiders in the last 15 minutes of the Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) Christmas Open Final to fuel the need for the rematch. Bulls won 64-47, for a mammoth 17-point victory that deflated Raiders.
However, Raiders had beaten Bulls earlier in the same tournament. The recent head-to-head of the two teams is therefore 1-1 with the imminent tie-breaker on Saturday. Retrieve Raiders are oozing confidence on social media. Bulls are calm and stable.
Bulls’ youthful triple-threat will continue to be a bother for Raiders, who clearly lacked the energy and fortitude in the final. Forwards, Michael Turner and Travin Dryden; and guard, Terron Welch out-performed Raiders on both ends of the court in January.
Turner put in a heroic second half performance with 17 points and seven rebounds with Welch the next best offensive player with 16 points and eight rebounds. Dryden had 11 points and a colossal 15 ‘boards’. No one for Raiders matched those numbers, despite them holding on to a 25-24 point lead at halftime.
Forward, Dwayne Roberts had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Raiders while Keon Cameron added 10 points. Former national forwards, Neil Marks and Marvin Hartman were both absent from their offence, despite its depth with the inclusion of some players from Kings.
The game Saturday is more or less a clash between the establishment: Raiders versus the changing of the guard:
Bulls, which had lost in the final of the Forbes Burnham Memorial Championships in August last year in Linden. However, Raiders are ranked higher nationally at three, while Bulls are ranked sixth ahead of the National Club Championships in March.
The game Saturday has a winner-take-all purse of $60,000. The sponsor is Bernard’s Variety Store and there is an East vs West Under-19 supporting game. All in all, the stage has been set for a very interesting battle that will either cement the dynasty of Retrieve Raiders, or announce the arrival of the new basketball prodigy in Linden, Half Mile Bulls.
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