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ROAD TO MECCA: Gillis, Saul lead Pacesetters to win over Guardians

- Bulls bounce back with blowout win

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By Treiston Joseph

The ‘Road to Mecca’ national basketball championships continued on Wednesday evening with the Pacesetters getting their second straight win against the Plaisance Guardians at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

With star guard Nikkoloi Smith nursing an ankle injury, the Guardians was always going to lack that scoring punch and the Pacesetters took full advantage with a 78-64 win to go 2-0 so far in the group stage of the championship.

The Pacesetters, while looking a bit sluggish in the first half that ended 36-26 because of their dominance from beyond the arc, were out-rebounded by the Guardians.

However, the second half was much different for the team in purple and gold, as they used their speed to unsettle the Guardians, who struggled to find their rhythm on offence.

Captain Stephan Gillis dropped a game-high 19 points, lighting it up from beyond the arc, while Nathan Saul was also in a groove with 18 points in the win. Sherlon Legal also had a double-double performance for the Pacesetters with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Stephan Gillis pushes the pace of the game during the 78-64 win for the Pacesetters

The loss for the Guardians is their second straight and they are now in a must-win situation ahead of their next game on Saturday. Marlon Chesney was the high point man for the Guardians with 15, while Akeem Crandon and Colwin Nurse contributed 13 points apiece.

Meanwhile, in the earlier match-up of the night, Half Mile Bulls rebounded from their opening night’s loss to the Bounty Colts to top Rose Hall Jammers 81-53. It was a reality check for Rose Hall, who surprisingly won their opening game, as the Bulls simply dominated the game. 

Terron Welch and Michael Turner combined for 51 of the Bulls’ 81 points, with Turner having the biggest game of the tournament with a 31-point and 10-rebound performance. Michael King was the only player to score in double digits for the Jammers with 12 points. 

The next playing night of the tournament will be Friday (December 8) at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

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