Rockets, Buckets move on to NPBA semis
The Discount Distribution Rockets took care of the Leno Regulators, 92-85, in the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) Division I playoffs on Wednesday night at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium to advance to the semifinals.
Earlier that night, last year’s runners-up in division two, the Aliv Buckets, took down Leno Eagle’s Nest, 98-88, to advance to the semifinals. The Buckets will move on to play the defending champions, the Breezes High Flyers, in the semis, a rematch of last year’s division two finals.
Both best-of-three series were won two games to one. The best-of-five semifinals will get underway tonight.
The Rockets will play game one of their best-of-five semifinal series against the second-seeded PJ’s Stingers, also tonight. The division two game will start at 7:30 p.m., and the division one game will be played after the division two game.
Rockets 92, Regulators 85
After the Regulators jumped out to a 22-17 lead in the first quarter, the Rockets woke up and outpaced them in the second. The Rockets led 45-33 at the half, and went on to win 92-85.
Georgio Walkes scored a game-high 25 points for the Rockets. Cordero Pinder chipped in with 22 points, 10 boards and two blocks.
For the Regulators, Kenneth Pratt had a team-high 17 points. His teammate Renardo Baillou finished with 14 points and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds.
The Rockets shot the ball better from the field, connecting on 42 percent of their shots, including eight three-pointers. Walkes connected on half of those three-pointers.
Despite forcing 23 turnovers, the Regulators did not capitalize enough on the other end.
In the second quarter, the Rockets connected on four three-pointers which enabled them to surge ahead and then pull away from the Regulators. The Regulators missed all six of their shots from beyond the arc in the second quarter.
The Regulators bounced back in the third quarter, trying to extend their season. A layup from Cruz Simon brought the Regulators within eight points with 7:24 remaining, 49-41. The Rockets were ahead by double figures for most of the quarter, but the Regulators scored timely points. A layup from Baillou with seven seconds left brought his team to within seven as the quarter ended 65-58 in favor of the Rockets.
The Rockets were able to hold off the Regulators in the fourth quarter, and went on to win 92-85 to secure a spot in the semifinals.
Buckets 98, Leno Eagle’s Nest 88
Dylan Musgrove recorded a double-double, scoring a team-high 27 points and grabbing a game-high 16 rebounds to lead the Aliv Buckets to a 98-88 victory over Leno Eagle’s Nest.
High school athlete Tyrell Butler erupted for a game-high 32 points in the loss.
The Buckets shot the ball well from the floor, connecting on 44 percent of their shots. Leno Eagle’s Nest shot just 30 percent from the floor.
Leno Eagle’s Nest forced 21 turnovers in the game but couldn’t do enough to turn them into points on the other end.
Like the Rockets did in their game, the Buckets pulled away in the second quarter. They took a 43-28 lead at the half and held off Leno Eagle’s Nest in the second half.
In the third quarter, the Buckets took a 19-point lead, 49-30, after a layup from Akeil Bullard with 8:12 remaining in the period.
Leno Eagle’s Nest went on an 18-5 scoring run to get back in the game. Musgrove and his team still led 54-48 with 4:37 to go in the third quarter.
At the end of the quarter, the Buckets held an 11-point lead going into the fourth, 72-61.
Butler brought his team all the way back, within two points with 5:10 remaining, 80-78.
The game remained close but the Buckets never relinquished the lead. With 48 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Buckets were ahead just 92-88. Musgrove showed off his athleticism as he had three unanswered dunks down the stretch to lead his team to the 98-88 victory.
NPBA playoff action was held last night with the top-seeded Your Essential Store Giants playing the Triple K Stampers in division two, and the top-seeded and undefeated Commonwealth Bank Giants playing the University of The Bahamas (UB) Mingoes in division one. The results of those games were unavailable up to press time.
All games are being played at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism
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