Orchids, Hummingbirds clash in Elite League final
Former champions Kingston Hummingbirds and St Ann Orchids will clash in Game One of the best-of-three finals in the Berger Elite League competition at the University of Technology Auditorium this evening at 7:30 p.m.
The Hummingbirds, who last won the title in 2014, will enter today's contest full of confidence, having defeated the St Catherine Racers in the semi-finals.
The Marvette Anderson-coached Hummingbirds have been one of the top scoring teams in this season's competition, while their defence has been very solid.
Anderson says that she is expecting a competitive final and she is confident that her team will do well.
"It feels wonderful to be in the final," Anderson said. "No team has ever repeated (as champions) since this competition started, and so it would be nice if we were the first team to do so."
She added: "We are going into the game with the mindset that nothing is for granted, and we are going to have to work really hard to come out with the victory."
The Hummingbirds, who won the title in the first season of the competition, will be depending heavily on the likes of Shameera Sterling, Thristina Harwood, Shadian Hemmings, Stacian Facey, and Kerry-Ann Brown to lead their charge to victory.
On the other hand, the Janet Guy-coached Orchids team, which comprises the likes of former national captain Simone Forbes and Shanice Beckford, will start the final as slight favourites.
The Orchids secured their place in the final with a 56-48 victory over the St James Sharpes. Guy said that she is expecting a very competitive series from her opponents.
"We are expecting a good competition from them because they are champions in their own right," Guy said.
"I think whichever team plays less will lose, and whichever team plays more will win, and so we are expecting a good game," the veteran coach said.
Along with Forbes and Beckford, the Orchids will also be relying on Adean Thomas, Sabrina Spence, and Althea Byfield to lead them to victory.
Meanwhile, the Sharpes and Racers will meet in the third-place play-off at 6:00 p.m.