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Straker Nets, Shak Attack set-up title series - Nov 8, 2018


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Steven Lewis
A new champion will be crowned in the Men's Premier Division of the Barry Stewart Basketball League "Basketball For Basketballers" after defending champion Defence Force was eliminated after being swept 2-0 in the best-of-three semifinal series. Despite the return of star veteran player "Lighter" Steven Lewis (193-F) to its fold, the army/coast guard combination unit could not extend the series, losing game two, 84-71, to Detour Shak Attack on Thursday night at the Jean Pierre Complex, Mucurapo. This followed Defence Force's opening loss (82-74 ) on Tuesday in Maloney. This means that Shak Attack moves on to meet Straker Nets in the final after the latter swept its series also by a 2-0 margin, defeating Stories of Success (SOS) Basketball Academy, 97-86 in their second match earlier in the evening. It was not a straightforward win for the "Detour" men as they trailed at the end of the first two quarters, 19-15 and 41-40, respectively. This was not due to the lack of effort though as both teams exchanged baskets throughout the affair. Play swung in the favour of Shak Attack into the third period due to agility and athleticism of Kurt "Koto" Christian. The forward once more made it difficult for Defence Force to defend him as he constantly attacked the basket with his dribbling skills and was rewarded with a match-high 19 points. While Christian found ways to score driving into the key, his teammates centres Shawn Lawrence (206-C) (15) and Wilt Vincent (201-C-79) (10) worked ardently down in the low-post, grabbing rebounds and making good on second baskets, at times getting fouled and completing their three-point play from the free-throw line. Shooting guard Andy Best was useful too on offence for Shak Attack, adding 13 points as his team gained a five-point (55-50) advantage at the end of the third session. It was in this final period that Shak Attack put up the most points of the contest, 29 as Defence Force forwards Kyeon Joseph and Kerry McMillan fought hard on offence to get their team back into the match but it was all in vain as the soldier/sailors combination team only managed 21 points in the quarter and slumped to the 13-point defeat, exiting the Big Four competition.
In the opening match, Straker Nets, learning from its narrow opening win (86-84)over SOS on Tuesday, stepped up defensively to restrict the Boyd brothers of Ahkeel and Ahkeem, who almost led their team to victory from the three-point line, against the lone unbeaten team in the league. In game-two, only Ahkeel reached double-figures with 11, as he combined with forward Kern George (19), point-guard Kevon Noriega (17), Lenwayne Wallace (201-F) (12) and Clint Graham (10) to lead SOS's offence but their efforts were not enough. Again point-guard Sadiki Guerra starred for Straker Nets with 27 points while his teammate Jeffrey Harris, who struggled on offence in game one, rebounded with a 19-point performance. The duo will again be looking to come big for Straker in the opening match of the best-in-three series final starting on Thursday at the Jean Pierre Complex from 8.30 pm following the third-place playoffs between SOS and Defence Force at 7.30 pm.
Courtesy of: guardian.co.tt   



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