The University of The Bahamas (UB) Mingoes held onto the top spot in the Vince Ferguson Division of the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) despite splitting their two-game schedule this past weekend. The Mingoes now sport a 7-2 win-loss record after defeating Abaco Strong 88-76 on Friday night and then losing to Breezes 94-85 on Saturday night. The Discount Distributors Rockets have a 7-1 record in the Vince Ferguson Division but under FIBA (International Basketball Federation) classification rules, the Mingoes have more classification points (16 compared to 15).
Mingoes 88, Abaco Strong 76
The Mingoes let Abaco Strong take an early lead in their game Friday night at 5-2, but the Mingoes soon took over and Abaco Strong never responded. Abaco Strong failed to lead the game after that early surge.
Behind 20 points each from Kemsy Sylvestre and Christoph McKenzie, the Mingoes dominated, winning 88-76. Sylvestre also pulled down 15 rebounds and McKenzie had 13 boards.
The Mingoes led by as much as 18 points in the game, enjoying that large marge in the third quarter off a Sylvestre lay-up at the 1:32 mark. That put them up 64-46. The Mingoes ended the third quarter ahead by 13, 64-51.
Abaco Strong was able to cut the lead to eight (72-84) off a Wensun Metinor lay-up with 5:44 to go in the game. However, the Mingoes bounced back and held off the late surge for the win.
Robert Joseph contributed 15 points and Rashad Sturrup put up 14 points to go along with 10 rebounds in the win.
Malik Penn scored 28 points to lead Abaco Strong in the loss. Chauncy Cooper scored 18 points to go along with 13 rebounds in a losing effort. Timothy Bullard added 11 for Abaco Strong.
Breezes 94, Mingoes 85
In a game that saw 12 ties and eight lead changes, the Mingoes just could not get a serious run going to defeat the Breezes High Flyers on Saturday night. They fell 94-85.
“Breezes played a great game,” Mingoes Assistant Coach Lavar Johnson said. “They came out ready to play. They shot well from the three-point line and out-rebounded us and that was the difference in the game. They also had a lot more energy and we were just a little bit slower on the back half of back-to-back games.”
The High Flyers pulled down 64 rebounds compared to 45 for the Mingoes. Defensive rebounds played a big factor as well with the High Flyers able to secure a dozen more than The Mingoes (40-28).
Kemsy Sylvester had 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Mingoes in the loss. Christoph McKenzie scored 19 points and Rashad Sturrup scored 18 to go along with 10 rebounds in the losing effort.
Jeremy Neely led the High Flyers with 23 points. Rashad Ingraham had 22, Dave Davis contributed 17 and Shantoin Pratt added 16 to lead the High Flyers in the win.
The Mingoes don’t play again until Friday, January 17, when they take on the Uptown Cuts Specialists in NPBA action at 8 p.m. at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium.