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Petro Jazz outplays Clippers for series lead
A late surge from forward Ako Pascal carried Petro Jazz to a one-nil series advantage against Caledonia Clippers, on Saturday, with the former securing a 80-74 victory in the opening Mackeson Super 10 Basketball League Big-Four fixture.
Pascall sank two of his team’s final baskets in the dying moments, before finishing as the leading for Jazz with 16 points.
The closing double-header match was played at the Southern Indoor Sports Arena, Pleasantville, a venue of which Jazz won all its matches this season.
It was a comforting result for Jazz, which lost its preliminary fixture, 77-65, against Clippers just over a year ago.
Jazz closed the first quarter with a 27-20 lead, but the visitors rallied to close the deficit with a 21-14 second quarter thrust. After both teams were locked at 41-41, the intensity increased either sought its opponent’s weaknesses.
After ten highly-charged minutes, Jazz produced the edge and retook the advantage, 60-57.
But, it was the fourth session that produced all the excitement, within the confines of the game with Jazz outscoring Caledonia 20-17 to win, much to the delight of the fans.
Pascal got support from point-guard Adrian Joseph, who was taken out the third quarter with foul trouble. He, however, scored a season-low 11 points, while Kevin Sargeant also took double-digits with 13.
For Caledonia, forward Wesley Vincent led all scorers with 21 points. Centre Shawn Lawrence was the team’s second best with 15, followed by guard Steve Williams, who assisted with ten. The second semifinal series fixture will be played on Thursday, at the Jean Pierre Sports Complex, Port-of-Spain.
Opening yesterday’s double-header was Big-Four semifinal, but in the Women’s division, with Quarters United taking a narrow 64-59 win over Colours. In perhaps her best showing for the campaign, Pietra Gay dropped 22 points for Quarters. Her season-high also gave Quarters a one-nil series advantage and a sixth win in as many matches.
After leading 17-12 at the end of the first period, Quarters returned strong for a 35-26 half-time advantage and then a comfortable 53-38 lead at the conclusion of the third.
However, it was a young and talented Colours, playing in its first SBL semifinal after campaigning in the league for the third year, which shone in the final period, despite the loss. Quarters returned fire to outscore the host team, 21-11, but could not close the inevitable six-point gap.
Gay was supported by former national and NCAA Division One player Melissa Guerero, who netted 11 points, and Adina Cummings who recorded nine valuable points.
For Colours, Jellene Richardson was also big with 18 points as well as Bianca McFadzen who contributed with 14. The second semifinal match will also be played on Thursday, at the Jean Pierre Complex.
The second semfinals in the men and women’s divisions were played last evening.