JDF looking to cool Heats in opener
The quarter-finals of the National Integrity Action (NIA) Southern Conference Basketball competition get going this evening with a launch of the play-offs and two opening games at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex, starting at 6 p.m.
In the opening game, the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) take on EXED Heat, while in the feature game at 7:30 p.m., defending champions Arnett Gardens Rockers open their play-off account either against Upper Room Church or Portmore Flames, who were down to play a rescheduled game last night to decide who gets the final play-off spot.
However, fourth-placed preliminary round finishers, the JDF, are one of the teams that strongly believe they have what it takes to lift the title this year. Notwithstanding, coach Michael Kirlew expects a very tough opening game against the Heats.
HARD AND TOUGH
"The last time we played them (Heats) we went into double overtime and we won that match. But we will have to be real good because they will be hard and tough," he admitted.
"It would be nice if I could say that we are in real good form now, but a couple of my players are hurt so we will have to work that out and try to mix them in. But I am confident we can win; we beat them already and the last time we played them we played good defence, so if we up the intensity we can win," he continued.
"My only problem is we lapsed on defence and make too many turnovers, but if we cut down the turnovers and get some more intensity on defence we can win the competition," he insists.
The JDF will look to the consistent Raymi Franklyn, Dermaine Foster and Denroy Barnaby to take them to victory. The Heats' hopes will rest on the likes of Cordell Grant, Garrick Allen and Rohan Robinson.
In the feature game, star studded Arnett Rockers will start favourites over the winner of the Upper Room/Portmore Flames game, which was rescheduled for last evening after the disciplinary committee ordered that their decisive Round-of-16 Game Three contest be replayed following a controversial ending.
The other pair of quarter-final games will see Pembroke Hall up against G.C. Foster and Spartans taking on Real Lions.