Kwakwani and Jets to clash in LABA/Hamid Foundation U-23 final
April 12th, 2017
by Joe Chapman

KWAKWANI outclassed Retrieve Raiders 67-41, while the Amelia’s Ward Jets clinched an exciting 72 – 17 win over Half Mile Bulls on Saturday at the Mackenzie Sports Club Hard Court to book a spot in the final of this year’s Linden Amateur Basketball Association / Hamid Foundation Under-23 basketball championship. The final is set for Saturday April 15.

Among those who turned up to see these match-ups was president of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) Nigel Hinds,who presented basketballs and nets to the association as well as to the females from Kwakwani.

The Kwakwani boys were able to overcome a 12-10 lead by the Raiders when the first quarter ended, and led by a 18-10 charge fashioned by Troy David, who knocked in two 3’s in that period which ended with the visitors ahead 28-22 at the half-time break.

David, who by then had netted 14 of his team’s points, played well in tandem with Domar Gladstone who came into his own and set the pace that would eventually raid their opponents out of contention as the third quarter closed out with Kwakwani ahead 47-33.

This combination would eventually seal the win for the Kwakwani side as Gladstone would knock down another one from beyond the arc on the buzzer for a comfortable 67-41 victory.

David would lead the scoring for his team with 23 points and Gladstone on 22 while Orwin Samuels added six. The Raiders scoring was centered on their captain Coel Winter who got 11 points and Travis Sutton also with 11.

The second game was to many a virtual final as the Bulls were out to maintain their unbeaten run,but ran into a determined jets side which had barely sneaked in due to the late discovery that the Bankers Trust Falcons had played an over-aged player but this was discovered late by the authorities.

This caused some revaluation of the points in their group by the organizers which eventually landed the Falcons back into contention as the other team with Kwakwani to come through from their group. That game began with the Jets opening a 15-8 lead but the Bulls responded despite being outscored 13-11 as the jets took a 28-19 cushion when the first half elapsed.

However,a big third quarter performance led by Vibert Benjamin seemingly put paid to any hopes of the Bulls emerging victorious as the Jets were leading 48-31 at the end of the pivotal third quarter play. The key players to this advantage were Shannon Cadogan and Vibert Benjamin, as they combined well to apply immense pressure on the Bulls.

In the final quarter it was a keen tussle between the determined Jets and the Bulls, still harbouring thoughts of remaining the team to be beaten heading into the final.

But the Bulls were able to rally well behind Terron Welch who shouldered their weight and were in with a very good chance when the scores were close,as Welch went to the free stripe line after being fouled on an attempt from long range, only to miss three straight and left the game in the balance.

It was 61-61 with just over three minutes remaining and some crucial turnovers cost the Bulls who folded and the Jets flew past to win 72-61, although the Bulls had a 30-24 scoring advantage in that final quarter, and the Jets won 72-61 on a canter.

Cadogan played excellent basketball to control the game with 22 points as Benjamin was solid with 12 as Kris Gill contributed eight. The Bulls Terron Welch finished with 20 points as Tahquille Johnson netted 16 and Keifer Tappin 11 in a losing cause.