Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
The National Stadium Court will be buzzing with excitement today when defending champions Urban Knights battle midseason winners Spanish Town Spartans in game one of their best-of-three finals of the Flow/National Basketball League starting at 6 p.m.
Today's encounter is expected to be very exciting as both teams are evenly matched in all departments. One of the main battles will be between the Spartans' point guard Javon Bailey and Omar Barnes of Urban Knights. Bailey, who is the top point guard in the competition, was a member of the Knights' team which won back-to-back trophies in 2008-2009.
In another interesting match-up, the Knights' shooting guard Andre Murray will be seeking to get the better of Lynford Brown while the Spartans' Adrian Forbes will battle Tommy McDonald at centre.
The Spartans, who are this year's midseason and Southern Conference champions, will enter the finals oozing with confidence, having defeated the Knights twice this season.
The Spartans' coach, Calvin Martin, a former coach for the Knights, said his team is ready and rearing to go.
"There won't be any emotions from me because I am just coming to play a best-of-three finals," said Martin who led the Knights to two titles. "They are a good team because they are quicker than us, and so I hope it will be an exciting finals," he said.
On the other hand, the Knights' coach, Oneil Brown, said, despite his team's losses to the Spartans earlier in the season, he is very optimistic that they can retain their title.
"We are confident that we can go all the way and retain our crown," said Brown. "I think that we just have to rebound the ball at both ends of the court and execute in the fourth quarter in order for us to win this series."
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Bailey, who was recruited out of St Catherine High School by Knights in 2007, said he is looking forward to playing against his former teammates.
"I feel humbled because Knights gave me the opportunity to better my talent and to better myself as a person, and to go up against that team and such an organisation is going to be tough for me," said Bailey.