LIME Sponsored National League Basketball Tournament Finals
The Anguilla Amateur Basketball Association ended the 2015 annual LIME sponsored National League Basketball Tournament with what has been deemed the most entertaining finals seen by a crowd in years.
The tournament which began on 18 April, 2015, started with a total of 7 teams from all over the island. These teams included The Shottaz, Hoyas, Raiders, Los Dominicanos, ALHCS Spartans, Knights and Outlaws. Although the team count was smaller than that of the past, the tournament was nothing short of entertaining with a number or spoilers and surprises. Special mention is to be made regarding the ALHCS Spartans, who proved to many of the older players this season that they were a definite force to be reckoned with, managing to even defeat the reigning champions early in the season.
The playoffs started on June 12, with the top four teams playing best of 3 series. They were in order of seeding Hoyas, Shottaz, Raiders & Republica Dominicano. After the first round the perennial favourites, Shottaz and Hoyas, emerged victorious to face each other once again for the championship.
After unfortunately forfeiting game 1 on the evening of Friday, 12 June, the Raiders were faced with a must-win situation to force a game 3 on Sunday. They met the challenge and narrowly escaped with a 70-67 win over the Republica Dominicano team lead by Crefton Gumbs’ monstrous 27 points & 18 rebounds. Miguel Belen led the Dominicanos with 15 points & 16 rebounds in their loss.
In game 2, the Hoyas were faced with the same situation after losing game 1 on Friday evening by 11 points. With a narrow 2 point lead at halftime, Hoyas used a 16 point run in the 2 half to lead by as much as 14 points.
The lead was cut down by the 3 point shooting of Randy Webster who finished the game with 20 points including 6, 3 pointers. With just over a minute to play it still appeared as if we were heading towards a game 3 as Hoyas clung to a 5 point lead and possession of the ball. Unfortunately for Hoyas while trying to run out the clock a bit, Shottaz managed to come up with a steal and another 3 pointer brought them within 2 points. Shottaz quickly fouled with 12 seconds remaining and after Hoyas missed both free throws, Shottaz were left with 1 play to complete their comeback victory. A drive by Javille Brooks resulted in a miss. However, Jason Hodge managed to get the offensive rebound, scored the put back while getting fouled, leaving the score tied with Hodge having 1 free throw to give his team their 3 repeat championship. Up to that point Jason had made only 1 out of 9 free throw attempts that night. However, with the championship on the line, he sunk the free throw to deliver his team to victory.
Awards were presented afterwards as Shottaz left with the championship trophy and Javille Brooks left with the Finals MVP trophy after averaging 16 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3 assists to lead his team to their 3 consecutive championship. Hoyas left with the 2 place trophy and regular season championship. Three individual awards were also given out as Tristin Rogers of Outlaws won Best Scorer, Retde Oliver Moises left with Best Rebounder, and Ian Connor took the award for most assists. Team MVPs are still to be announced.
The AABA wishes to extend a thank you to all coaches, captains & players in this year’s tournament for their active involvement. A special thank you is also extended to the tournament sponsor, LIME, for their continuous generous contribution to the development of basketball among the communities in Anguilla.