Legends strengthen belief with win over Knights
Ludlow Barker, coach of last year's beaten finalists, Majesty Gardens Legends, said his team's victory over Urban Knights on Thursday is a big morale booster as they aim to go all the way in this year's Flow/National Basketball League (NBL).
The Legends, who are seeking their first hold on the trophy, registered a nail-biting 63-61 win over the Knights on their way to recording their fifth consecutive win of the season at the National Stadium courts on Thursday night.
"This was a good victory for us," said Barker. Urban Knights is one of the fittest teams in the competition and they are also one of the favourites to win the title."
Barker added: "My team has been improving game by game, and I believe that this victory against Knights will certainly lift the confidence of the players."
The Legends began the match slowly as sloppy defence and a number of turnovers were some of the factors which saw them trailing the Knights 33-26 at half-time, and still behind 42-39 at the end of the third quarter.
The Legends' captain, Baldon Todd, came out firing in the final stanza and he scored back-to-back three pointers to push his team into a 45-42 lead with six minutes remaining.
However, they had to withstand a late fourth-quarter surge from the Knights in the final minutes of the game to hold on to victory.
Todd, who is one of the league's leading scorers this season, finished with a game-high 29 points and 13 rebounds. He received solid support from Jermaine Brown, who contributed 18 points. Fernando Young, with 22 points and 10 rebounds and Ricardo Greaves, 12 points, were the main scorers for the Knights, whose record now stands at four wins and two defeats.
"I think that my team stands a great chance of winning the trophy this season, but we just have to stay consistent on the offensive and defensive ends to achieve this goal," Barker said.
Kevin Alexander, manager of the Knights, described the loss as "tough".
"It was a tough loss for us because we should have won the game quite easily, but my players moved away from the team plan in the fourth quarter, and this cost us the game."
In the second game of the double-header, Runnin Rebels outclassed Waterhouse Blazers 71-56 to record their sixth victory from eight outings this season.
Paron Brown and Kemar McLeish, who both scored 15 points, were the main scorers for the Rebels, while Raymond Layne top- scored for the Blazers with a game-high 25 points.
The competition continues today with two matches at the same venue. Selassie Gardens oppose St Georges Saints at 5 p.m., and the Jamaica Defence Force take on Eastern Pistons at 6:45 p.m.
- Robert Bailey