Stories of Success Basketball Academy (SOS) recorded their third successive win and Defence Force snapped a two-game losing streak when action resumed in the Men’s Division of the National Basketball Federation National Invitational Championships (NIC) at Maloney on the weekend.
SOS remain atop the seven-team table with a maximum six points from their three outings while Caledonia Clippers, who won their game on Sunday, maintained second position with the same number of points but having played four games.
Playing at the Maloney Indoor Sports Arena Saturday, SOS brushed aside fellow East Zone campaigners T&T Prison Service, 102-82.
Prisons were hoping the return of the high-scoring Mikihail Williams would tilt the game in their favour and indeed, he scored a season-high 35 points in his first game in the NIC. However, there was no stopping SOS as they took a 28-18 lead after the opening quarter and extended it to 58-32 at the halfway stage. By the end of the third, SOS had opened up a 40-point gap (48-88) and there was no coming back for Prisons.
Kemrick Julien led SOS’ scorers with 23 points while Clint Graham (21) and Kern George (17) made valuable contributions in the victory. Apart from Williams’ game-high performance, Prisons had 19 from Steve Mc Sween and 15 from Michael Jerome.
Later in the evening, former East Zone champions Maloney Pacers traded baskets with Defence Force who, having recently recalled veteran Derrick Boxhill, had further boosted their roster by bringing in Kyeon Joseph.
The move worked; Defence Force led by eight (29-21) after the first quarter before turning on the heat in the second as they went in at the half with a 58-35 advantage.
Pacers came back inspired after the break to outscore the soldier-coast guard unit 18-3 as they reduced the deficit to eight points (61-53) going into the final stanza. But the effort seemed to have drained the easterners as Defence Force restored their lead and then some, scoring 44 points to the Pacers’ 18 in the final quarter to come out winners, 105-71.
Joseph led the “Teteron Boys” with 20 points while Jamille King and Boxhill put up 16 and 15 respectively.
Kadeem Greig led the Pacers with 23 points and Mohammed Elias got 18.
On Sunday, Caledonia Clippers completed their second win in four, a 109-74 blowout of Brian Chase Academy (BCBA). Ako Pascal led the North Zone champions with 24 points while Adrian Joseph got 20 and Kenyatta Alfred and Michael Pantin scored 18 each.
Elon Hernandez (19), Nathon Lewis (18) and Kevon Williams (17) were BCBA’s main scorers.
Earlier, Women’s Division leaders Brian Chase Academy had scored a 65-42 win over Enterprise-Maloney Combine. Competition continues Friday at Maloney with Clippers taking on T&T Prison Service at 8.30 p.m., immediately after a Women’s Division game between Police and Enterprise-Maloney Combine (6.30pm).