It was a little over a week since the Commonwealth Bank Giants claimed the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) Division I championship. On Saturday night, they claimed the 2019 Bahamas Basketball Federation’s (BBF) Bunny Levarity National Round-Robin Tournament, taking down Abaco Elite, 100-89, in the division one championship game. The Most Valuable Player (MVP) was D’Shon Taylor as he finished with a game-high 41 points to go along with 10 rebounds on Saturday night at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium.
In division two play, the Breezes High Flyers added another trophy to their collection after lifting the NPBA Division II trophy earlier in the week. They defeated the Coca-Cola Out Reach Saints 80-71 on Saturday night, powered by MVP Dave Davis’ huge double-double of 25 points and 23 boards.
Giants 100, Abaco Elite 89
The Giants out-rebounded Abaco Elite 59-40 and cruised to victory, winning 100-89.
Sha’Vanno Cooper led the way for Abaco Elite with 25 points.
The game was closer than the score indicated as the Giants made use of their depth. Their bench outscored Abaco Elite, 39-2.
Abaco Elite jumped on the Giants early, taking an 8-2 lead before the Giants went on a 10-4 scoring run to tie the game at 12 on a Michael Bain lay-up with 4:10 remaining in the first quarter.
The 8-2 lead was the largest lead of the game by Abaco Elite.
In the second quarter, Jackson Jacob turned it up for the Giants. He scored eight of his 25 total points in the final 3:56 of the second quarter, and the Giants went into half up 48-45.
Taylor took the baton from Jacob as he started the third quarter scoring the Giants’ first eight points. A lay-up from Taylor tied the game at 60 midway through the third.
A three-point shot from Jacob gave the Giants a 65-62 lead with 2:15 left in the third quarter, and they never trailed again. At the end of the third quarter, the Giants were up 69-64.
Tehran Cox, a veteran with the Giants, said: “Our coach came in after halftime and told us to close out the season strong. We lost one game all year and we were not trying to lose another one.”
In the fourth quarter, the Giants brought the heat as Taylor’s dunk with 7:19 remaining gave them a 77-66 lead.
It was over for the Abaco Elite as they had no answer for the Giants in the fourth. The Giants got their largest lead of the night, 97-77, on a jump shot from Jacob with under three minutes remaining in the game.
In the final minutes, Abaco Elite tried to chip into the lead but it was too much as the Giants won 100-89.
Cox, who finished with just four points and six rebounds, said: “It was a competitive game, a very physical game tonight. We came out a little sluggish but we were able to pull it off at the end.”
This is a repeat of last year when they won the NPBA title and the national title. Cox said they are accustomed to it now.
“This is a rewind from last year so we are accustomed to it. We know there was going to be different challenges this year because it’s always different teams. A lot of competitive teams came in from Freeport and Abaco this year so we had to change our focus a little bit but the goal never changed – it was to win. It was the only thing we were thinking about,” said Cox.
The Giants outscored Abaco Elite 31-25 in the final quarter last night to pull away for the win. They led by as much as 20 in the fourth before coasting to the win.
High Flyers 80, Saints 71
The Breezes High Flyers used a 28-15 third quarter run to pull away from the Saints and win 80-71 to claim the BBF Division II national title.
MVP Dave Davis had a huge double-double of 25 points and 23 boards.
Dario Saunders backed up Davis with 22 points and eight rebounds.
Howard Hinzey led the way for the Saints as he scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the loss.
The game was tied at 16 at the end of the first quarter. The Saints dominated at the beginning the second quarter on the way to a 27-18 lead with 6:39 remaining in the half.
Davis completed an and-one play to bring his team to within three points with 3:09 remaining. The Saints were up 28-25 at that point.
The Saints went into halftime up 35-31, looking to upset the home town favorite and take the trophy to Grand Bahama.
Unfortunately for the Saints, the High Flyers decided to go on a 13-0 run at the start of the third quarter and they never looked back. The High Flyers led 46-38 with 6:17 left in the third quarter, and continued to keep the pressure on the Saints. They took a 59-50 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Saints trailed by double digits for much of the final quarter, and ended up falling 80-71.
The High Flyers won the battle on the glass grabbing 64 rebounds to their opponents’ 40 rebounds.
On Monday past they defeated the pennant-winning Your Essential Store (YES) Giants to win their third consecutive NPBA Division II title, and now are the national champions once again.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism
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