The theme of the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) playoffs over the weekend had to be “staying alive” as four teams bounced back from opening game losses to even their best-of-three series. In division two play on Friday, the Triple K. Stampers defeated the Sun Oil Rockets, 84-77, to even that best-of-three series at a game apiece.
The decisive game three was played last night at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium, but the result was unavailable up to press time. Game three in the division one best-of-three playoff series between the University of The Bahamas (UB) Mingoes and the JD’s Seafood Shockers was also played last night after the Mingoes pulled even in that series on Friday night with a 105-101 overtime victory. That result was also unavailable up to press time. On Saturday, the Aliv Buckets turned back Leno Eagle’s Nest, 98-91, to even that series at a game apiece. Game three will be played Wednesday. In the division one game on Friday night, the Leno Regulators turned back the Discount Distributors Rockets, 100-97, knotting that series at a game apiece. Game three in that series is also set for Wednesday. The NPBA semifinals get underway on Friday.
Stampers 84, Rockets 77
After coming up short in game one, the Triple K. Stampers bounced back to even their series with the Sun Oil Rockets, winning game two, 84-77.
Johnley Noel had a huge 20-20 game for the fifth-seeded Stampers. He powered in a game-high 23 points and pulled down 20 rebounds. He also added two assists and two steals. Michael Turnquest helped out with 16 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals. Nathaniel Jean and Troy Trembley placed four starters in double figures as they dropped in 10 apiece for the Stampers. The latter added nine rebounds and five assists.
Crosley Wilmore and Kyle Wilson dropped in 17 apiece for the fourth-seeded Rockets. Wilmore added eight rebounds, two steals and an assist. Bertrum Minnis had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Rockets. No other player scored in double figures for them. Team captain Cameron Chery added nine points and six rebounds.
It was the Rockets who came out of the gate hot, looking like they wanted to take out the Stampers in a two-game sweep. They led by as many as eight in the early going, and took a 23-16 lead into the second quarter. The Stampers finally showed some resiliency in the second quarter, bouncing back to take the lead and then stretching that lead to double figures at the half. Noel had eight of his 23 points in that quarter for the Stampers, and Turnquest contributed five as the Stampers surged ahead and stretched the lead to 44-34 at the half.
The Rockets got to within four points twice in the third quarter. but the Stampers regained their composure, hit some big buckets in the closing minutes of the third, and built the lead to 64-55 at the end of three. The lead grew to as many as 14 points in the final quarter. The Rockets managed to pull within five in the final minute of the game, but missed a couple of three-pointers and a pair of free shots that would have pulled them closer.
Noel sealed the win with two free shots with 12 seconds remaining.
Mingoes 105, Shockers 101 – OT
After scoring just seven points in the opening game of the series, Kemsy Sylvestre turned in a massive performance in game two, leading the University of The Bahamas (UB) Mingoes past the JD’s Seafood Shockers. They prevailed 105-101 in overtime.
Sylvestre played all 45 minutes, pouring in a side-high 31 points, to go along with 18 rebounds and 10 steals for an unusual triple-double. He added six assists and three steals, turning in a fantastic all-around performance. Antwan Bevans had 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Mingoes. Justin Smith came off the bench to score 15 points and added seven assist and five rebounds. Team captain Ramon Dames was the only other player in double figures for the Mingoes with 13 points.
Lenny Oscar paced the Shockers with a game-high 33 points. Shakwon Lewis came off the bench to score 21 points, and added 10 assists and six rebounds for the Shockers. Bernard Bonaby also scored double figures off the bench. He had 15 points and four rebounds. Team captain William Rigby was the only other player in double figures for the Shockers. He turned in a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Rameno King also pulled down 13 rebounds for the Shockers but was held to just four points.
After getting destroyed by 35 points in game one, the fourth-seeded Mingoes showed tremendous resiliency, bouncing back against the fifth-seeded Shockers. From the opening quarter, they showed it would be a different ball game. The Mingoes went ahead by 10 in the opening quarter, but the Shockers ended the period on a 9-0 scoring run, and trailed just 17-16 after one.
The Mingoes once again went ahead by double figures in the second, but the Shockers scored the final five points of the second to pull to within 36-30 at the half. The Shockers quickly reeled off seven points in the third to take the lead again – the first time since the 6:08 mark of the second quarter. The game went back and forth in the third until the Mingoes took control coming down to the end of the period. They led 60-55 going into the final quarter.
The Mingoes stretched the lead up to double digits early in the fourth quarter, but once again, the Shockers came back. A free shot from Bonaby tied the game at 71 with 6:09 remaining in regulation. The Mingoes responded as they managed to go ahead by six, but behind Lewis and Bonaby the Sjockers came back again.
A free shot from Lewis tied the game at 84 with 1:28 remaining, and two more free shots eight seconds later, gave them an 86-84 lead. After the Mingoes pulled even at 86, both teams could only manage a free shot each in the final 1:14 of the game. Both teams missed potential game-winning shots in the final 30 seconds of the game.
Tyrone Sands Jr. had some huge baskets in the overtime session, and Smith hit a huge three pointer to lead the Mingoes to victory.
Buckets 98, Eagle’s Nest 91
The third-seeded Aliv Buckets had three 20-point scorers on Saturday night, and they led them past sixth-seeded Leno Eagle’s Nest, 98-91, to even that best-of-three series at a game apiece.
Dylan Musgrove led the way with 23 points on 11-for-17 shooting. He added 11 rebounds and four assists. Akeil Bullard had 21 points, 11 rebounds and two assists for the Buckets; and James Rolle dropped in 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. Both Kieran Mortimer and Detarrio Thompson had a strong production off the bench for the Buckets. They scored 11 points apiece. Mortimer had 12 rebounds and four assists, and Thompson added four rebounds and two assists.
Jonaldo Joseph paced Leno Eagle’s Nest with 24 points, 12 rebounds and three steals. Team captain Tyrell Butler contributed 22 points, five rebounds and three steals and Johnacy Augustin added 16 points, six rebounds and five assists. Donte Deveaux had a huge double-double with 12 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for Leno Eagle’s Nest. The only other starter for Leno Eagle’s Nest, Jeffrey Williams, had eight points, four rebounds and four assists.
The Buckets took an eight-point lead twice in the opening quarter, but settled for a 21-19 advantage after one. Leno Eagle’s Nest took control in the second quarter. After the Buckets took a nine-point lead on two free shots from Thompson, 30-21, Leno Eagle’s Nest went on a strong 22-4 scoring run to completely turn the tables on their opponents. They led 43-34 with 3:34 remaining in the second quarter. They continued to keep the pressure on, taking as much as a 12-point lead before settling for 50-40 advantage at the half.
Looking to save their season, the Buckets started their comeback in the third and then came all the way back in the fourth. The Buckets closed the third on an 11-5 scoring run to pull within 75-68 at the end of three. The lead never ballooned to double digits in the fourth.
The Buckets kept chipping away at the lead, eventually pulling even at 89 on a lay-up from Musgrove with 1:25 remaining. Just a few seconds later, they took the lead on a lay-up from Thompson and then stretched the lead to four, 93-89, on another lay-up from Thompson. A couple of baskets from Musgrove in the final 30 seconds of the game, including a ferocious dunk, sealed the win for the Buckets.
The decisive game three will be played on Wednesday at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium.
Regulators 100, Rockets 97
A frantic 11-1 scoring run in the final 43 seconds of the game on Saturday night saved the Leno Regulators season.
Kenneth Pratt led by example, dropping in a game-high 24 points and adding 15 rebounds, and the sixth-seeded Leno Regulators glided past the third-seeded Discount Distributors Rockets, 100-97, tying that series at a game apiece.
Four of the five starters scored in double figures for the Regulators. Cruz Simon and Rashad Edgecombe score 15 apiece and Renardo Baillou contributed 12 points, 15 boards and three assists and two steals. Simon added six rebounds and four steals, and Edgecombe had seven rebounds and a steal. Cordero Thompson and Alexander Rolle scored in double digits off the bench for the Regulators. Thompson had 13 points and 12 boards, and Rolle contributed 11 points, five steals, three rebounds and three assists.
David Taylor and Tameko Moxey scored 18 points apiece for the Rockets. Taylor added six rebounds, three assists and two steals; and Moxey added five rebounds. Team captain Lerecus Armbrister had 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. Selwyn McKenzie added 13 points and four rebounds; and Cordero Pinder made it five players in double figures with 12 points and added a game-high 18 rebounds. Barry Carter contributed eight points, six rebounds and three assists.
The Regulators had a strong opening quarter, taking as much as an 11-point lead in the opening quarter, and taking a 28-19 advantage into the second. The Rockets got as close as a single point in the second quarter, but couldn’t surge ahead. They trailed 46-41 at the half.
The Regulators scored the first seven points of the third quarter, to take a 12-point lead, 53-41, but the Rockets battled all the way back. A three-point shot from Moxey pulled them to within a single basket, 61-59, with 2:38 remaining in the third quarter. They pulled even 12 seconds later on a lay-up from Dancel Knowles, and another three-point shot from Moxey game them their first lead of the game, 64-61, with 1:54 remaining in the third. The Rockets went into the final quarter ahead, 68-65.
The game was close throughout the fourth quarter until Moxey appeared to put the Rockets in control with a lay-up with just 43 seconds remaining. That score gave the Rockets a seven-point lead, 96-89.
However, the Regulators gave it one last ditch effort and it paid off for them. Simon, Rolle and Pratt had lay-ups – the final two off steals – bring them to within one, 96-95, with 30 seconds remaining. A steal and ensuing three-point shot from Simon gave the Regulators a 98-96 lead with just 22 seconds left. Moxey hit one of two free shots for the Rockets, but the Regulators countered with two free shots of their own to pull ahead 100-97 with just nine seconds left. Moxey missed a three-point shot with six seconds remaining, and after an offensive rebound, Enrico Bethel missed a three-point shot at the buzzer, giving the Regulators the stunning victory.
Game three in that series is also set for Wednesday, and the NPBA semifinals will get underway on Friday.
The undefeated defending champions Commonwealth Bank Giants and PJ’s Stingers have secured first-round byes in division one, and the pennant-winning Your Essential Store Giants and defending champions Breezes High Flyers have earned first-round byes in division two.