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Petro Jazz wins first Super 10 title
One of the longest standing teams in the local basketball, Petro Jazz, finally delivered a top-flight title after 23 years, when the club defeated Valencia Heat 95-80 to win the Mackeson Super 10 Basketball League’s Men’s Championship 4-2, on Wednesday.
Jazz became the second club from the south to win the title and the ninth overall since the league’s establishment in 1987, an expected feat as it appeared in its third consecutive final.
After an evenly balanced four opening final matches, Jazz took it comfortably in the end after three straight wins. Jazz lost the opening match, 72-66, but rebounded in style by taking the second, 94-76. Heat won once again in the third match (82-60), before Jazz won the fourth, 99-62, fifth, 86-81 and the sixth by 15 points, with a match to spare.
And, it was double success for southern teams as Quarters United defeated Police 3-1 for the women's championship.
In the sixth and deciding match, both teams were in the balance (22-22) after the first quarter, before Heat edged Jazz by a point to lead, 40-39, at the half.
At the resumption, Valencia pulled further away, but with four minutes to play in the third quarter, Jazz went on a nine-point run, unchallenged, which gave it a 51-42 lead. From that point, Jazz’s players took control and handled everything Heat threw at them with comfort.
Point-guard Adrian Joseph scored 22 points, secured eight rebounds and dished out four assists, which won him the Courts player-of-the-match award (a microwave oven), for his all-rounded performance. It was his team-mate in forward Ako Pascal, however, who led all scorers with 28 points, while centre Dextroy Manswell contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds before he was fouled out with four minutes to play.
For Valencia, which challenged its first final since joining the league in 2006, former American NCAA Division I standout with Murray State, Dwayne Virgil, dropped in 20 points and grabbed five rebounds. Forward Fabrice Fisher helped himself with 20 points and seven rebounds, followed by Jeffrey Saunders, who ended with 12 points and three rebounds.
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