Mingoes advance to NPBA divisional round with win over the Shockers

The University of The Bahamas (UB) Mingoes didn’t just beat the JD’s Seafood Shockers in the decisive game of their best-of-three playoff series in New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) Division I action, they made a statement.

The Shockers led the game early in the first quarter, 5-4, but the Mingoes took over after that.

Led by a balanced attack from Robert Joseph, Ujammåå Johnson and Kemsy Sylvestre, the Mingoes ended the quarter on a 16-6 scoring run and never looked back.

Up by as much as 30 points (on a three-point play from Romero Cornish with 4:09 to go in third), the Mingoes dispatched the Shockers 91-71 to take the series two games to one.

The Shockers beat the Mingoes in the first game of the series, 64-57, but the Mingoes responded, winning game two, 91-73, and now taking game three by almost an identical score, 91-71.

Johnson was on fire for the Mingoes, finishing with 20 points. Four other teammates scored in double figures. Joseph and Sylvestre had 14 apiece; Rashaad Sturrup scored 12 points and added 16 rebounds; and Cornish finished with 11 points. Sylvestre pulled down 14 rebounds.

William Rigby scored 21 points for the Shockers in a losing effort. Lenny Oscar added 19.

Johnson said their defense was the driving force behind the win.

“Our defense really stepped up the whole way and we executed,” said Johnson. “We listened to the coach and we just came out with a victory. Our defense really helped our offense. We picked it up and we played intense ball and it just led easy buckets on that end.”

The Shockers employed a box-and-one defense for most of the night, alternating between marking Joseph and Sylvestre. Joseph said this allowed others to easily score.

“They guarded me all game and that opened up the game for everybody else, allowing them to score easy lay-ups and easy shots and it was just working all game,” he said. “The guys came off the bench and scored a lot of points today and got into it. We just trusted our teammates and they came through for us.”

The Mingoes will now move on to play the Rockets in the divisional round best-of-three series starting at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday at the A.F. Adderley gym.

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