Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:50 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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La Romaine takes $1.5m Hoop of Life title
Point-guard Derrick Boxill played like a true champion when he scored 16 of his match-high 29 points in the fourth quarter, which ultimately guided La Romaine Jet Stars to the Hoop of Life Championship trophy with a 81-73 win over Maloney in the third and deciding finals clash, at the Maloney Basketball Court on Sunday night.
Minister of National Security, Gary Griffith was on hand to present the winner’s cheque for $1.5 million-dollars, while Dr Wendy Quamina-Yorke, the deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of National Security handed over the championship trophy to Adrian Joseph. This was in front of a sizable away support which made the journey from South Trinidad to witness the duel.
It was the final match of the season and it lived-up to all the billings as supporters of the sport and the two communities involved converged all over the venue seeking out any vantage point that they can get.
Maloney won the first match, 86-77, before La Romaine leveled the three-match series 76-66.
The home-team, Maloney went on an 8-1 run from the jump ball, which it then built to a 22-19 first quarter advantage. However, when the first half ended, Maloney only carried a narrow 40-38 lead into the dressing room.
In the third quarter, as Maloney was allowed to score freely, centre Shawn “Shawny” Lawrence scored six points, while point-guard Kevon Noreiga added five. That gave the team an 11-point lead (62-51) to close the session, but what was to follow can only be described as awesome.
Devon Campbell opened the fourth quarter with a lay-up off a pass from Derrick Boxill, and from then on it was the Boxill show.
La Romaine went on a 15-1 run which gave it a 64-63 lead. Boxill, who scored 21 points in the fourth quarter in a come-from-behind effort in the series tying fixture in La Romaine, on Wednesday, did the same again to Maloney. Maloney failed to contain the point-guard, which brought an argument that Boxill may not just be the best point-guard in the country, but perhaps the best play to date.
Boxill, who scored 40 points in match two, of which 21 came in the fourth quarter, got support from Joseph, who came up big with 21 points, 12 of which came in the first half. Lester Edwards added 13 points and Kevin Kyle Sargeant 10.
For Maloney, which earned $500,000 and was presented with a replica cheque by the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security Ebau Moheni, centres Kievan Bacquain and Lawrence were the only players in double-digits with points 13 each.
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