As it turns out, Donillo “Donnie” Culmer and the Bees Trucking Destroyers were right after all.
Culmer produced the necessary documentation to prove that the player in question for Saturday’s game three did indeed play the required number of games in the regular season to be deemed eligible for the postseason, and consequently, the decision to take Saturday’s on-court victory from the Destroyers and give it to the young Foxxy’s Angels, was overturned.
As a result, the Destroyers won the necessary three games in the series and are the New Providence Women’s Basketball Association (NPWBA) Champions for 2019. There was no game five last night. It is the club’s third straight title after undergoing a name change from the Bommer G. Operators to the Bees Trucking Destroyers in the offseason.
The Destroyers won the first, third and fourth games of the best-of-five series, all at the D.W. Davis Gymnasium. After they won game three on the court on Saturday night, the Angels protested, stating that an ineligible player was used. The protest stated that the player in question, Sheldeen Joseph, did not play the required number of games in the regular season as mandated by the league’s constitution. According to the league’s by-laws, a player has to play in at least 25 percent of the games in the regular season, which would amount to three games, to be deemed eligible for the postseason.
The protest was upheld and the championship game on Saturday was awarded to the Angels, briefly giving them a two-games-to-one advantage in the series.
However, Head Coach Culmer was so certain that Joseph had played the required number of games that he inserted her back in the line-up for game four. The Truckers went on to win that game, 72-59, and afterwards, Culmer vehemently voiced his displeasure with league officials, more notably league president Devon Johnson and league commissioner Randolph “Mooch” Humes.
On Wednesday a decision to award Saturday’s game to the Angels by a three-person tribunal in which Humes was a member, was re-visited, and after a brief meeting, Humes acknowledged that a mistake was made.
“We made some checks and discovered that the player in question actually did play in the required number of games, and based on that, we decided to go with what we saw, which was to overturn the initial decision and give the game back to the Destroyers. The Destroyers are the 2019 champions,” he said. “Both teams accept the decision. Obviously, the Destroyers accept it, and the Mr. Swaby (Angels’ coach Anthony Swaby) has been very understanding. We are very pleased with the way he conducted himself. We now move on from this and look forward to next season.”
Humes said that he is not sure how the mistake was made, but he is glad that it has been corrected and now they could move on from it.
Culmer and the Destroyers were in full celebration mode on Tuesday night, and were visibly upset afterwards given the league’s initial decision.
Initially, Culmer had said that there was no reason to come out for a possible game five but later changed his tone, stating that he is not a quitter and would bring his girls out to play if forced to do so.
Tuesday’s game four, which turned out to be the clinching game after all, was won convincingly by the Destroyers. They took the series three games to one.