Armando Richards of Nex, grabs a rebound ahead of Pure Playaz’s Nixon Hamilton

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

Pure Players, the 2018 Julian Fraser Save The Seed Basketball runners up improved to 3-0 with a convincing 78-65 victory over Nex, while champions Bayside Blazers lost twice—including Sunday’s triple overtime, 125-120 thriller to 79.

 Romain Minott had a game high 26 points and Ray Victor dropped in 24 and pulled 13 boards in leading Pure Players to the victory, in a game of several runs by both sides. 

Nigel Cory was Nex’s leading scorer with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Jovaughn Cameron added 14. 

“The team gave us a hard run. It’s a good team and they made us work for the win and I’m still grateful for it,” Pure Playaz coach Sheldon Matthews said, whose team had an 18-3 run to start third quarter after a 41-41 tie, only to see Nex came back to equalize. “We kinda started getting carried away and one of the things wanted is getting all the players involved in the plays we practice. When they came back, that was me feeling out the team, what plays are strong and how players react to the defensive plays I asked them to do.”

Cameron said it came down to Nex taking care of the ball.

“We got a little tired, that’s all it boiled down to and making shots,” he noted. “I thought we actually did good, considering our head coach wasn’t here, some players came late, I didn’t have any outside help so they were able to pack it in on us.”

Bayside Blazers on the other hand, fell to DA 3rd86-84 on Friday before Sunday’s triple overtime 125-120 heart breaker.

“Our guys fought tonight—triple overtime game—we applaud them for the fight and we lost to a good team,” said Bayside Blazers coach Jason Edwin. “We can’t knock anybody’s effort. We had opportunities to win, but we just came up on the short end of the stick. We didn’t make free throws. We missed a lot of free throws.”

79’s coach Vince Pickering—whose squad lost to Skillful Ballers 97-94 on Friday—said his squad had a motivation.

“They’re the champions and once you want to be a champion, you have to beat the champions,” he said of his squad that got 33 points from Kimron Telemaque and a 29 points 11 rebounds and 11 assists triple double from Kadeem Jones to pace the attack. “From time we brought this team into the league, we looked forward to meeting them as a measuring stick to see where we are. We lost a tough one on Friday, one of our star players got hurt and we didn’t want to lost two back to back.”

Ashield Frett had 24 points in leading Splash Brothers past Young Empire, 101-72. Splash Brothers collected another victory to abruptly end Sunday’s last games, after Skillful Ballers coach Ronnie “Gola” Simmonds refused to leave the court with 5:13 left after two technical fouls, with his team trailing, 80-70. 

In Jr. Division action, Aaron Williams III dropped a game high 16 points in the Shooting Stars’ 58-56 win over Jr. Bayside Blazers. Willful Skillful got 11 points from Kezron Sampson, in a 47-40 win over Top Guns.