By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
After falling asleep in the third quarter, Splash Brothers woke up with a steadfast fourth quarter run in time to pull out a thrilling one point, 79-78, Saturday night victory over West Gunners, to sweep the Hon. Fraser Save The Seed Basketball League Championships Series.
Splash Brothers’ triumph also denied West Gunners from becoming the four-year old league’s first repeat champion. The series was a rematch from last year.
“Tough loss,” said West Gunners Captain Ray Victor, who finished with a 23 points 10 rebounds and 10 assists triple double and got 16 points from Douron Phillips before he fouled out and another 13 points and a game high 17 boards from Bjorn Caleb. “We didn’t come out with enough intensity.”
West Gunners ran off 15 unanswered points before outscoring the Splash Brothers 17-6 in the third quarter. But, Splash Brothers began a run of their own to start the fourth quarter. They pulled within 72-70, with under three minutes left, then took a brief 76-75 lead with 28.1 seconds on the clock, before going on and sealing the victory.
“We relaxed, that’s all I can say,” Victor said of their fourth quarter collapse. “We lapsed on defense. We gave up a lot of unnecessary free shots and that’s all on us. We lost the game by ourselves—no other reason.”
Splash Brothers coach Joseph Dagou said the referees did a good job and he’s pleased with his team’s performance, after getting a game high 27 points from Abrey Daniel, 19 from Steve Parillon and another 17 from Ashield Frett. He said after West Gunners built a 64-51 to end the third quarter, he told them to slow down the game, which hadn’t gone anywhere and go through eventual MVP Parillon who’s a veteran player.
“They did just that and in the fourth quarter, I told them to give the ball to my point guard Abrey from St. Thomas and let Shamoi (Dagou) go on the wing, open up the game and attack Ray (Victor) because he had four fouls and he couldn’t play defense at all,” Dagou explained. “You saw what happened. We attacked Ray and he could set because he had four fouls and couldn’t do anything about it.”
Splash Brothers won Friday night’s game over West Gunners, 99-82, in Victor’s absence. “I choose God over anything,” Victor and Adventist said. “My belief in God comes before anything in this world. I don’t care what anyone says. I believe in what I believe in and I’m sticking to it. I thought though that we would have evened the series tonight, but we lapsed.”