The Grand Bahama Basketball Association (GBBA) Night League reached its climax after another exciting season.
The Division I and II Championships were contested this past Saturday at the St. Georges’ Gymnasium.
The defending champions, Grand Bahama Shipyard Cruisers and the Gym Rats New Era Ballers each held a 2-0 series lead on their opponents headed into Saturday night’s double-header.
The Cruisers ousted the Sire’s Coors Stars after a back-and-forth affair in game three, to clinch their second-straight GBBA Division I Championship.
Powered by a 20-point performance from eventual Most Valuable Player (MVP), Jay Philippe, the Cruisers hung on for a 77-72 triumph.
Teammate Leon Copper also poured in 20 points. Ervine Lewis led the Stars in scoring with 19 points; Michael Colebrooke chipped in with 13 points and Stars’ guard, Avlon Kelly was named the Division I Sportsmanship Award recipient.
The Stars held a slim 15-13 lead at the end of one, over the Cruisers. A late run by the defending champions near the close of the second quarter, gave them a 33-30 lead. However, the Starts drilled home a buzzer beating three-pointer to tie things at 33 apiece headed into the second half.
The third quarter was another stalemate between the two, as both teams went into the fourth quarter tied, 51-51.
No team gave an inch up to he 3:10 mark of the fourth quarter they were tied at 70 apiece. Eventually, it was the Cruisers who found the momentum down the stretch to close out their opponents.
The Division II championship was another close one on the night. The New Era Ballers outlasted last year’s runner-ups, the Reach Out Saints to secure their second straight championship, 71-64.
Franklyn Petion powered the Ballers with 18 points and was named the MVP of the series.
Regis Cooper added 13 points in the win, while teammate Desmond Butler was awarded the Division II Sportsmanship Award.
Keno Russell registered a game-high 24 points in the loss, while teammate Howard Hinzey chipped in with 11 points.
Division II of the GBBA Night League incorporated some of the top high school athletes on the island. The Ballers had six of them on their roster (Butler, Cooper, Franco Miller Jr., Shyrone Kemp, Seandre Todd and Ahmad Harvey).
Ballers’ head coach Ravano Mader expressed gratitude to the parents.
“I just would like to thank the parents who allowed their kids to be a part of our program. Also the sponsors and the league, because they did good in dealing with everything.”
Mader also announced that this was the team’s last season competing in Division II.
“This is our last year in B-League. We’re looking to move up to the A-League. I have a good feeling about it, not saying that we’re going to come out and win; but then it’s just that we’re going into another level of competition … we’re going to do our best.”
Saints’ head coach Dudley Seide also expressed that after 30 years, being a part of the Night League he will be stepping down and retiring from the league.
Published Monday, April 10, 2017