Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Maloney, La Romaine in Hoop of Life final
It’s official: Maloney and La Romaine will lock horns to contest the $1.5 million 2013 Hoop of Life Community Basketball League championship when the finals jump-off later this week at a venue to be announced.
Maloney joined La Romaine in the finals despite going under to defending champion Laventille United 87-69 at St Barb’s Basketball Court, Laventille, on Saturday night.
Laventille had to win the match by 29 points after Wednesday night’s first-leg, 89-61 loss in Maloney, but it was not to be despite playing good basketball in front of its home fans, even at the venue which brought the team many success stories last season.
Maloney seemed to have learned from its mistakes after last year’s quarter-finals. Needing to avoid a defeat by 30 points, Maloney lost by 33 in last year’s edition, which sparked a party-like atmosphere with music and firecrackers as Laventille then breezed to the finals to win the first prize of $1 million.
However, it was different this time, and with a place in the finals Maloney came to play knowing it was alright to lose but not by 29 on this occasion.
Maloney is the only team to beat Laventille twice this season and three times since the programme jumped-off last year.
The visitors trailed 14-27 at the end of the first quarter and at the interval made up little ground at 34-42. In the third quarter, the home-team extended its lead to 16 points (66-50), and in the fourth quarter with their floor-leader shooting-guard Kurt “Coto” Christian and centre Ashton DuMurrell both fouled out, the task of finishing strong was challenging as the visitors showed patience on offence.
For Maloney, Shawn Lawrence, who scored 22 points in game-one, scored 20 in the second, while Kenyatta Alfred had 10. For Laventille, which will now play for third and fourth place, national player Steven “Lighter” Lewis led all scorers with 26 points, followed by Orlando Mapp and Christain who scored 22 and 18, respectively.
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