The championships are all set in the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) as the final two teams booked their spots on Monday night at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium.
In division two, the defending champions Breezes High Flyers continued their dominance of the Aliv Buckets, winning 85-82, and finishing off that series three games to one. They will go on to play the pennant-winning Your Essential Store (YES) Giants in the best-of-seven championship series which gets underway tonight at the A.F. Adderley Gym.
In division one on Monday night, the PJs Stingers took down the Discount Distributors Rockets, 83-81, and will move on to play the pennant-winning defending champions Commonwealth Bank Giants in the championship series. That series will also get underway tonight, following the division two championship game which is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
The Stingers won their series with the Rockets three games to one.
High Flyers 85, Buckets 82
Dave Davis hit two clutch free shots with two seconds remaining for the Breezes High Flyers, and Kieran Mortimer missed a desperation three-point shot at the buzzer for the Aliv Buckets, enabling the High Flyers to hold on and take the fourth game of the best-of-five series to win the series three games to one.
The championship rematch from a year ago lived up to its billing, at least for one night. After losing by 21 on Friday, the Buckets gave a much better effort in game four but just couldn’t hold off a resilient High Flyers team in the fourth quarter on Monday night. The Buckets were ahead by as much as 13 in the third quarter, only to watch the High Flyers come all the way back.
The High Flyers took their first lead of the fourth on a three-point shot from Jeremy Neely with 2:43 remaining. They never trailed the rest of the way, and then put away the game with Davis’ two clutch free shots at the end and effective perimeter defense.
The High Flyers led 23-21 after the first quarter, only to fall behind 50-37 at the break. They pulled to within 65-60 at the end of three, and then after trailing by nine early in the fourth, they battled all the way back to take the lead and finish off the Buckets.
High Flyers Captain Neely had a game-high 28 points. Brendon Stubbs came off the bench to score 13 and added six rebounds, and Shantoin Pratt added 12 points, four rebounds and three assists. Devontee Gibson was the only other player in double figures for them with 10 and he added 12 rebounds. Dario Saunders and Davis added seven apiece. Davis had his two clutch free shots at the end and added a game-high 13 rebounds.
Akeil Bullard led the Buckets with 18 points, seven rebounds and two steals. James Rolle contributed 17 points and six rebounds, and Anwar Neilly added 13 points and six rebounds.
The defending champions High Flyers will advance to play the pennant-winning YES Giants in the championship series. Game one of that series is set for 8 p.m. tonight at the A.F. Adderley Gym.
Stingers 83, Rockets 81
Henry Rolle found the space he needed and buried a jump shot to send the PJs Stingers into the championship series to face the undefeated Commonwealth Bank Giants. The Stingers prevailed, 83-81, over the Discount Distributors Rockets on Monday night at the A.F. Adderley Gym, finishing off that series three games to one.
Rolle’s jump shot came with just six seconds remaining and the Rockets failed to get off a good shot in the waning seconds of the game. They led for most of the fourth and blew a six-point lead in the final three minutes of the game.
Like the Buckets in division two, the Rockets were ahead by double digits in the second half of their game. A couple free shots from Dominique Beadle gave them a 50-35 lead with 7:03 remaining in the third but the Stingers came all the way back. By the end of three, they had pulled into a 64-64 tie, and stayed in contention for the duration of the fourth until a late surge pushed them over the top.
In the early going, the Rockets showed some signs of life, playing like they wanted to extend the series. They took a 14-9 lead after one, and pulled away in the final three minutes of the second to take a 45-31 lead into the half. However, they couldn’t hold off the Stingers in the second half.
The Stingers used a balanced scoring attack to defeat the Rockets. Randy Williams led the way with 15 points and five rebounds. Salathiel “Donkey” Dean had a huge game with 14 points, a game-high 16 rebounds and four steals; Horris McKenzie came off the bench to score 12; Team Captain Devon Ferguson added 11 points, eight rebounds and five assists; and Vernon Stubbs scored 10. Brian Bain had nine points, four rebounds and three assists.
Team Captain Lerecus Armbrister matched game-high honors in points with 15 for the Rockets. Barrington Carter was their only other player in double figures with 12 and added nine rebounds. Cordero Pinder had nine points and seven rebounds, and Dominique Beadle and Giorgio Walkes dropped in seven points and six rebounds apiece. Beadle added four assists.
Game one of the best-of-seven championship series between the Stingers and the Giants is scheduled for 9 p.m. tonight, immediately following game one of the division two championship series.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting