Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Jamrockers top Classic

Published:Wednesday | November 30, 2016 | 11:00 AMLivingston Scott
Kemar McLeish

Guyana Jaguars' coach, Mark Agard, has heaped praise on the Jamaica national basketball team, the Jamrockers, after the local players defeated the visitors 82-67 in the final of the Jamrockers Classic at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Monday night.

Agard said the Jamrockers are playing at a "top level" and that competing against the Jamaica team was a great learning experience.

Lynford Brown with 22 points led the local-based team which comprised one overseas-based player in Richard Staple. Brown was supported by Kemar McLeish with 16 points. Stanton Rose was the visitors' top scorer with 16 points and eight rebounds. Good contributions also came from Terron Welsh with 15 points, and Akeen Kanhai and Nikoloi Smith with 12 each.

"This is a developmental programme for us and probably Jamaica," Agard told The Gleaner. "We are just looking to pick up the pieces as Jamaica has a great programme and we came to learn from them. We want to continue getting these types of competitions, so we can be a better team in the future for CARICOM championships."

The Jamrockers were the better team throughout the final and they held a 15-11 lead after the first quarter and were comfortably ahead 35-24 at the half-time break. The home team continued to over-run their opponent in the third period, taking the quarter 27-15 to lead 62-39 going into the final stanza.

The Rohan Robinson-coached team took their foot off the accelerator in the last period and the Guyanese took the quarter 28-20. However, they still lost by 15 points.

Robinson said the team took some time to gel but in the final they came together.

"In the first game, we were playing mainly an individual game ... but I was pleased with the final performance. I didn't like how we closed the game, so we still have some serious work to do," he said.

In the night's other game Libertyville Vipers, with 14 points 11 rebounds, nine steals and eight assists from Mike Skinner, defeated the Jamaica Under-21 team 63-61. Ronaldo McKenzie was the Under-21s top scorer with 14 points and six rebounds.