Mon | Mar 25, 2019

Berger eyes BEL improvements

Published:Saturday | February 2, 2019 | 12:19 AM
Kingston Hummingbirds’ Hasana Williams (right) collects the ball ahead of Nicole Dixon of Manchester Spurs in Game One of the Berger Elite League final recently.

Impressed with the all-round standards in the Berger Elite League (BEL), sponsors Berger Paints Jamaica Limited will be looking at ways to improve the sport’s flagship competition.

“I don’t want to let the proverbial cat out of the bag, but we normally, at the end of the competition, sit down, look at the good, look at the bad and see how we can improve it, and we’re going to do that. Suffice to say we’re extremely happy with how it went this year and we will be doing our best to ensure that this level of competition is maintained,” said Barrington Graham, Berger Paints’ general manager.

The fifth instalment of Netball Jamaica’s semi-professional competition concluded recently with an enthralling best-of-three finals series between Manchester Spurs, who emerged first-time winners and two-time champions Kingston Hummingbirds. All three finals were closely contested, with the Hummingbirds winning Game One 59-52 before Manchester Spurs rallied to claim Game Two 57-53 and Game Three 71-65, in overtime, following a 54-all tie at the end of regulation time.

Graham was on hand to witness the finals, and after the decisive Game Three encounter at the National Indoor Sports Centre, he noted its quality.

Exciting final

“It has been an extremely exciting final. You were literally on the edge of your seat. You didn’t know the winner until the end of the match. It was riveting right throughout the game, really exciting, and we’re pleased that the fans enjoyed it, and the players seemed to have shown an aggression, friendly aggression, that convinced everybody that they wanted to win it for their team,” assessed Graham.

Graham further highlighted the involvement of Berger Paints with the sport – which dates close to four decades with the Super League - and expressed pleasure at the outcomes.

“We’re pleased,” he said. “Berger has been associated with netball for decades and I’d say we’ve been very satisfied and very pleased with how the competition was run, the exposure that we’ve gotten from it and the contribution that we’ve been able to make in providing an avenue for young players to hone their skills and to be exposed in a way that allows them to be seen by scouts from overseas and to make it into the national team. So, from that perspective, we’re very pleased.”