Pacesetters, Retrieve Raiders through to Semi-finals
Defending champ Pacesetters survived a fourth quarter rally to seal their berth in the semi-final round, downing Half Mile Bulls 88-79 when the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation Road to Mecca National Club Championship continued on Friday.
With Pacesetters firmly in control of the quarterfinal contest at 73-56 upon the end of the third quarter, the Linden unit almost created the upset as they quickly reduced the deficit at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on Homestretch Avenue.
The near comeback started with a 15-6 run which pulled the visitors within single digits at 79-71 with 4:30 remaining on the clock.
Keifer Tappin then nailed a three pointer from the right side followed by a Kevin Easton strike beyond the arc from the centre as Bulls pulled within four points 83-79, giving their vocal fanbase belief with 1:20 remaining.
However the experience of the holders proved to be the deciding factor as they initiated a 5-0, sealing the contest with a lay up and several freethows.
Travis Burnett led the victor with 31 points, nine assists and eight steals while Stephon Gillis shot his way to 19 points inclusive of five three pointers.
Assisting with a double-double of 15 points and 16 rebounds was Randy Richardson. For the Bulls, Keifer Tappin netted 19 points while Terron Welch and Kevin Easton chipped in with 13 and 10 points respectively.
Due to the win, Pacesetters will face-off with Linden unit Retrieve Raiders in the semi-final round, following the latter’s win over Victory Valley Royals in the opening match.
Prior to the dramatic conclusion, Pacesetters upon surviving a fast start from the visitors, ended the first period in the lead at 20-15. The lead grew in the second stanza as Pacesetters outscored 25-21 to take a 45-36 advantage in the half time interval.
The pivotal third period proved to be the difference in the eventual outcome as Pacesetters recorded 28 points while restricting Bulls to 20 points, in the process stretching their lead to 17 points at 73-56.
Meanwhile, Raiders defeated Victory Valley Royals 69-61 in an all Linden affair. Jason Alonzo top scored in the win with 25 points while Dwayne Roberts was the next best scorer with 23 points.
For Royals, Harold Adams netted 12 points while Marlon Pollydore and Ron Beckles chipped in with nine points each.
Winner of the event will pocket $500,000 and the championship trophy while the second, third and fourth placed sides will receive $250,000, $150,000 and $100,000 respectively and the corresponding accolade