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Harris helps Straker Nets win - Nov 13, 2018


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EUROBASKET NEWS
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Gordon Felix
Straker Nets celebrated late into the night on Saturday after claiming the Men's Premier Division title in a controversial end to the Barry Stewart Basketball League at the Jean Pierre Complex in Mucurapo. Trailing 71-52 with more than seven minutes remaining in game two of the best-in-three series final of the "Basketball for Basketballers" themed competition, the Detour Shak Attack team featuring former national player "Koto" Kurt Christian (G-83) walked off the court in protest of the referee's calls and forfeited the match to the opposition. According to Straker Nets coach Barry Stewart, it was a disheartening end to the four-month-long competition which was in memory of late basketball Vibert "Passay" Dean, who passed away in May. "The way the game ended, it was disappointing, it was heart-breaking to basketball and in the time that I played and coached basketball, it is never good for basketball, for supporters, the attitude like that displayed by Detour Shak Attack," said Stewart, the organiser of the league. "If it is that you are playing and you don't like calls well rally your players and try your best to play the game harder and try your best to win. "It was an embarrassment to the tournament, to the supporters, the viewers watching on tv or hearing what was going on. It hurt my heart to know that Shak Attack could react like that. Yes, most likely you wouldn't be winning the game but for you to choose that way out that was so weak and again embarrassing to basketball." It was the second match of the series and all in attendance expected an intense and emotional game as Shak Attack was hoping to extend the competition after losing the opener 75-69 on Thursday at the same venue while Straker Nets were aiming to close the series. Shak Attack player Ancil Ollivierre shared that the team's decision to walk off the court was because he and his teammates had reached their breaking point with officiating in the match. "We found the calls by the referees to be biased," said Ollivierre. "So we took the stance to walk off the court because it was too much to bear." Ollivierre admitted that his team was not at their best on Thursday and did a lot wrong but they took the loss gracefully but Saturday's match-up was a different story. "Every time we reduce their lead, the refs would make calls against us. Their calls were mainly targeting our players so we decided we were calling it quits. It was like they were seeing all we were doing wrong and not seeing Straker players do anything. "Fouls were not being called against them but you could see "Koto" (Kurt Christian) getting slapped when penetrating. It was just too much," said an exasperated Ollivierre, who was advised by his coach "Dread" Gordon Felix at that point, not to forfeit the match. "I had nothing to do with the walk off. I tried my best to get them to finish the game," said Gordon Felix , who fully disagreed with action taken by his players. "I tried to encourage them to go back on the court but they were too upset by the way the calls were going against them." At least before the premature end of the match, spectators were treated to a grand performance from Jeffery Harris, who notched a match-high 24 points for the champion team, Straker Nets, which lead at the end of each quarter, 23-15 in the first, 45-30 at half-time and 61-51 in the third. A performance which brought praises from coach Stewart. "I feel elated that the team won. I was nervous at the start but the appearance of Detour Shak Attack, I already knew we had to win just because of their team coming late and they didn't look like they wanted to play," said Stewart. "It was a heartfelt win. We deserved it. It was played at a high intensity. My intention was to mark man-to-man defence from below the basket and we did so and we came out victorious. I really feel joy about the men and the way they performed." For Shak Attack, Kurt Christian was best offensively with 12 points.
Courtesy of: guardian.co.tt   



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