The St Lucia Basketball Federation (SLBF) after a two week break is all set to resume with the finals of both divisions of its 2013 National Men’s Basketball League. The resumption comes after a mini-break to facilitate the Sports in Black and White Conference, which was held at the Beausejour Indoor Facility hosted by Sacred Sports Foundation.
The best of three series began on Sunday at the Beausejour Indoor Facility, with a doubleheader starting with the Division One Finals at 6 pm, followed by the Premier League Finals at 8 pm.
The Division One Finals will feature an interesting match-up between two first time finalists in that of the very improved Combined Schools team, versus an almost perfect ISE Academy through the regular and post season. Combined Schools has impressed this year in the Division One League and certainly deserves their place in Sunday’s finals behind strong performances from notable names such as Kraigg Brooks, Troy Louison and Parkel Gumbs to name a few.
ISE Academy has been led throughout this year’s tournament by the influential play of team captain Gabriel McFarlane and good all round support from their other role players, namely Rawlstan Mitchell and Johnson Mondesir. ISE has got the best over Combined Schools so far in the regular season with two victories and they know two more wins will see them secure their first and this year’s Division One Championship.
Game two of the night’s doubleheader, is a more familiar look when two clubs that know each other very well take the spotlight for the main event, as they clash to see who will reign supreme for this year’s Premier League Championship. No love lost when the VBCC Warlords face their arch rival, three time defending champions Courts Jets in the finals. It is expected to be a great series when these two teams meet in game one of their best-of-three series.
VBCC Warlords went the distance in their best-of-three series victory over Dennery Dolphins, winning 2-1 in their semi-final encounter. Courts Jets made easy work of Babonneau Dynasty with a 2-0 series sweep to get to the finals. Courts Jets are looking to secure their fourth successive championship while for VBCC it’s a case of getting over the hump, after always being so close but always falling short to their rivals Courts Jets.
Courts Jets this year has had great contributions to assist the ever threatening presence of Ron DuMurville. There’s Andre Louison who has put on some stellar performances so far in their title chase aided by high flying Keegan Preville. Marcian Calderon and Nigel Butcher are the stand out players for VBCC and will likely be the key players for them alongside their supporting cast.
Additionally, the SLBF would also like to take the opportunity on Sunday at the games, to make an official presentation to all successful coaches in the recently concluded FIBA Level One Coaches Clinic held April this year at the Beausejour Indoor Facility. The presentation will be facilitated by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports, the sports minister or a ministry official. The SLBF request that all successful coaches be available to receive their certificate/license. Any coach who doesn’t provide a suitable and acceptable reason for not being able to attend the presentation prior to Sunday will not receive their certificate. This year 44 individuals have succeeded in the Coaches Clinic and the SLBF reasonably anticipates that no less that 80 percent of them will be available to receive certificates and actively use what they learnt within their communities, schools and teams to enhance and develop the sport of basketball.
The SLBF finally makes a special plea to all basketball enthusiasts, media personnel, affiliates, clubs and the general public to come out and support the Basketball Finals on Sunday at the Beausejour Indoor Facility from 6 pm, as they get one step closer to bringing down the curtains on another successful National League Tournament.
All four finalists are ready and have been well rested in preparations for the big final and it is expected to be a great finale. Admission is only $5 and eats and drinks as per usual will be available at the venue. Come be entertained by the musical skills of Crown Jugglers, and basketball at the highest level. Special thanks to all the sponsors of this year’s tournament for their invaluable contributions and effort towards the sport of basketball and the SLBF’s initiatives.