By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
With his team up by seven points in game one on Friday night in the Hon. Julian Fraser Save The Seed Basketball League Sr. Division Championships series, the momentum changed when Pure Playaz’s star player Ray Victor went down with an ankle injury, in a collision with Bayside Blazers’ Dione Blyden under the basket, with 9:05 left on the clock in the third quarter
Bayside Blazers overcame the deficit as Pure Playaz players turned to street ball play and they lost the opener, 95-86. Victory wouldn’t play another series and was placed on crutches.
On Saturday night, Pure Playez gave a valiant fight early, before Bayside Blazers began dominating the game, en route to a 105-89 victory, in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicates, to complete a sweep of the best of three series, 2-0.
Bayside Blazers who won their first title in 2014, became the league’s first team to become a two times winner in the five-year history of the league.
“It’s one of those things that’s bittersweet, as competitors, you want make sure you play against the best possible opponent, this year we didn’t get to do that, but it’s still good for us,” Bayside Blazers’ coach Rhennie Phipps told Island Sun Sports. “Winning a championship is always a good thing. I’m proud of my guys, really proud of my guys.”
Phipps said Victor who had carried the team during the season along with Romain Minott being out with injury, was a factor in the series.
“It would have made it more difficult for us,” Phillip said. “But I think we still had the better team.”
Tavon Phillip, who had a 23 points 12 rebounds double double in the opener, led Bayside Blazers with a game high 40 points and seven rebounds.
Dione Blyden followed up with 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists, after dropping 17, with seven rebounds and five assists on Friday.
Championships MVP Anthony Keane, added 17 points, seven assists and four rebounds, after pouring in a 19 points 10 boards double double on Friday. Keane also recorded seven steals and six assists.
Romain Minott led Pure Playaz with 25 points and pulled 10 off the rack. He also finished with five steals and three assists, a night after dropping 22 points and snatching 12 boards behind Victor’s game high 30 seven rebounds effort before he was injured 55 seconds into the third quarter.
Dwayne Stoutt contributed another 19 points.
“Winning the championship once is tough. Winning it twice is a blessing,” Phipps stated. “Ain’t everybody can get here, so it’s a good thing.”
In the Junior Division, Jr. Bayside Blazers was awarded the title when Young Stars—whose team was allegedly playing in an Anguilla tournament—failed to show for their games.