Colts, Raiders set up Linden versus Georgetown Road to Mecca III final
A new Champion will be crowned at this year’s GABF’s National Club Championship, after Pacesetters went down 65 – 55 to Linden’s Retrieve Raiders, in last night’s semi-finals at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall
Ironically, last year’s finalist Colts, led by a game high 27 points from point guard Stanton Rose, stampeded inaugural champions Ravens 81 – 59 to set-up a Linden versus Georgetown showcase on Saturday March 19.
Playing in the second game of the night’s double-header, the Retrieve Raiders came out being the aggressor, with forward Dwayne ‘Brown Sugar’ Roberts controlling the paint.
The Linden ‘ball club’ led 16 – 11 at the end of the first quarter and 32 – 28 at half time.
Roberts who finished with a double – double (17 points, 12 rebounds) had to match-up against his Pacesetters equal Royston Siland and Shetland Legal (15 points, 10 rebounds, seven assist) but the tenacious Linden ‘big man’ was ready for the challenge.
The scoreboard read 43 – 44 in favour of Raiders at the end of the penultimate period but down the stretch, the Linden team was too good and scored 21 points, most of which came from their front court, while restricting the former champions to 12 points in the quarter.
Jason Alonso, the towering Retrieve Raiders centre had 10 points to go with his 15 rebounds. Point guard Keon Cameron had eight points in a collective win for the Lindeners.
Pacesetters’ usual sharpshooter Stephon Gillis had an off night and could’ve only managed nine points.
Meanwhile, Colts’ back counted for 65 points of the team’s total as Rose, backed by Shelroy Thomas, Dave Causeway and Kurt English, wreaked havoc on the Ravens defence.
Colts led 17 – 11 at the end of the first quarter and then outscored the Ravens 22 – 15 in the second to lead by 13 at the close of the first half.
Thomas, who finished the night 17 points, four rebounds and three steals, was his usual self with the ball, but the night belonged to Rose who, in the National Club Championship, is making his debut for the Colts.
At the resumption of the second half, Ravens, behind shooting guard Ryan Stephney, outscored the Colts 20 – 16 in the third quarter, but despite their good showing in the period, the eventual winners still had complete control of the game at both ends of the floor.
Stephney finished the night with 21 points, four rebounds and four assist, and while entering the fourth quarter trailing by only nine points (55 – 46), the Ravens could not have capitalise on their well-played third quarter.
Causeway (11 points, five rebounds, six assist) and English (10 points) and the night’s hero Stanton, pilled on the points, much to the dislike to the Ravens supporters.
Ravens certainly didn’t look like the team that had defeated the Plaisance Guardians the night prior to earn their semi-final spot with the Colts as some suggested that may be fatigued had its way with Darcel Harris and his troops.
Nonetheless, Colts, who lost to the Trinity Grid Holding (TGH) Pacesetters (75 – 86) in the finals last year, continued their demolition of the Ravens, outscoring them 26 – 13 in the fourth quarter to guarantee walking away from the tournament with at least $250,000.
The winning club this year will pocket $500,000, third place $150,000 and fourth, $100,000.