Champs TG look to rebound
Robert Bailey, Sunday Gleaner Writer
An intriguing encounter is expected today when defending champions Tivoli Gardens oppose Spanish Town Spartans in a top-of-the-table clash in the Flow National Basketball League (NBL) at the Edgewater courts in Portmore, starting at 6:45 p.m.
In the opening match of the double-header at 5 p.m., Swift Sons will battle St Georges Saints.
At the National Stadium courts, Urban Knights will face the Jamaica Defence Force at 5 p.m. and Runnin Rebels entertains Portmore Mega Flames at 6:45 p.m. in another double-header.
Tivoli suffered their second defeat of the season last week, when they were beaten 57-52 by former champions Urban Knights. Tivoli's record now stands at seven wins and two losses. On the other hand, the Spartans, whose record stands at seven wins and three defeats, were beaten by Waterhouse Blazers in their last match.
"The defeat against the Knights hurt us badly," said Wayne Bartley, manager of Tivoli.
"However, my players have regrouped and I believe that as long as we play solid defence, and rebound the ball and execute the offence, then we should win," Bartley said.
Tivoli will rest their hopes on point guard Omar Barnes, shooting guard Christoph Brown, and forward Maurice Blackwood.
Marlon Beale, manager of the Spartans, is aiming for a strong allround game from his players."We are going to have to play some very strong defence and ensure that we keep them off the offensive boards, in order for us to win the game."
Shooting guard Lynford Brown, who has been the top shooter in the league this season, will lead the Spartans' charge along with forward Christopher Jennings and centre Cleon McLean.