The Commonwealth Bank Giants are now just one win away from repeating as division one champions in the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA). The Giants eked past the PJs Stingers, 97-95, at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium on Wednesday night to go up 3-1 in their best-of-seven championship series.
In the division two championship game, the pennant-winning Your Essential Store (YES) Giants evened up their best-of-seven series with the defending champions Breezes High Flyers at two games apiece. They won game four on Wednesday night, 89-86.
Giants 97, Stingers 95
D’Shon Taylor hit the winning jumper with five seconds left to give the Commonwealth Bank Giants a 97-95 win over the PJs Stingers, and find themselves just one win away from repeating as champions. Taylor finished with 37 points in the victory.
Taylor had help from Michael “Furley” Bain who finished with 24 points. Taylor was very efficient from the field, going 13-for-18 from the floor, including 3-for-5 from beyond the three-point line.
For the Stingers, Eugene Bain finished with 20 points on 7-for-14 shooting from the field.
The game was closely contested for much of the second half as the Stingers tried to even the series while the Giants looked to take a commanding lead.
After going down 17-11 in the first quarter, with just over four minutes to play, the Stingers closed out the quarter on an 8-0 scoring run to take a 19-17 lead into the second quarter.
The Stingers’ Craig Smith Jr. was fouled while attempting a three-pointer with less than five minutes remaining in the second quarter. He went to the free throw line and connected on all three free throws to put his team up by 12, their largest lead of the game at that point. They led 36-24.
Taylor converted a three-point shot to put his team ahead 42-41 with 1:44 remaining in the second quarter, and the half ended with the score deadlocked at 47.
The third quarter was controlled by the Giants. They maintained a five-point lead for much of the quarter.
A lay-up by Taylor gave his team a seven-point lead, 68-61, with 3:25 left to play in the third quarter. That was their largest lead of the game up to that point.
The Stingers trailed by five at the end of the third as Devon Ferguson hit a jump shot as time expired. The score was 75-70 in favor of the Giants.
The fourth quarter was extremely competitive as the teams battled back and forth. The Stingers appeared to take control at one point as Brian Bain hit a huge three-pointer to put them ahead by 10 points, 90-80. That came with 3:20 remaining.
However, the Giants came storming all the way back. About two minutes later, the Giants’ Tehran Cox grabbed an offensive rebound and connected on a lay-up to tie the game at 93.
Jackson Jacob gave the Giants the lead on a lay-up after a turnover from the Stingers. They went ahead 95-93.
Randy Williams tied the game up at 95 on a jump shot with 30 seconds left in the game.
The Giants called a time-out with eight seconds remaining. Coming out of the time-out, Taylor made a jump shot to break the tie, hitting the game-winning shot for the Giants.
The Giants can close out the series with a win tonight.
Giants 89, High Flyers 86
Andre Calvert hit a go-ahead three-point shot and Cameron Strachan hit two free throws to send the pennant-winning Your Essential Store (YES) Giants to an 89-86 win over the defending champions Breezes High Flyers.
Strachan had a game-high 20 points to go along with 12 rebounds for the Giants. Calvert finished with 12 points.
For the High Flyers, Johnathan Johnson had 17 points. Dave Davis had a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
It was a tight first quarter as the score was at 24 after one.
In the second quarter, three-point shots from Adrian Thompson assisted in the Giants getting a 13-point lead, 44-31, their largest of the game, with five minutes remaining in the quarter.
At the half, the High Flyers cut into that lead, trimming it down to three points, 50-47.
Shantoin Pratt put his the High Flyers up 53-52 when he made a lay-up with 8:49 remaining in the third.
The game went into the fourth quarter tied at 64 as both teams battled hard.
Calvert made a three-pointer with 54 seconds remaining in the game to put his team up 87-86. The High Flyers failed to get any offense going after that. Strachan sank two free throws to give the Giants a three-point cushion. That turned out to be the final margin as they won, 89-86.
Action resumes tonight at 8 p.m. Game five in both division one and division two will be played.