UG Trojans defy Guardians to capture GABA U-23 title
The Rainforest Water/Malta Supreme/Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) League concluded its Under 23 Division on Sunday with the UG Trojans squeezing past the number one ranked Plaisance Guardians to engender an eruption of pure joy among ecstatic University supporters as the Trojans claimed their maiden Basketball championship.
The action all started for the Trojans on Saturday when they faced the Pacesetters in the semifinal. It was a see-saw battle for most of its duration, with each team pushing the other to its limit. In the end, the Trojans stunned the Pacesetters 75-73, with Denzel Ross leading the way with 16 points, while Kadeem Peterkin supported with 12.
With the penultimate hurdle crossed, the Warren Wilson-led side now had a shot at the title. Prior to this match, Wilson had said the players were hungry and wanted the win badly; and this was displayed when they emphatically carved out for themselves a 79-62 win over the Plaisance Guardians on Sunday.
At start of the highly anticipated finals, the Trojans accelerated the pace from ball one, and led the scoring in all four periods of the game, besting every performance they had registered at the beginning of the league.
Showing composure, style and class, they managed to restrict the in-form Terrence Daniels, upon whom great pressure was applied, and forced the other players to become desperate.
Scoring for the Trojans were Jonathan Browne, who top-scored with 18 points; Kadeem Peterkin, who scored 17; and Darrol Williams, who scored 15.
As the final buzzer sounded, the Trojan fans could scarce contain themselves.
Speaking with Guyana Times Sport, coach of the University side, Warren Wilson, said: “I feel vindicated; because the odds weren’t against the players, but a lot of the coaches felt that since I had no experience playing basketball at a national level, and the fact that I am young…but I am happy that I was able to lead the guys this far.
“I really worked hard with them, and I think that this is a really good first step; and I hope that the administration would push basketball to get it more recognised,” Wilson declared.
In the third place playoff, the Pacesetters defeated the Eagles 72-41in commanding fashion.
Action in this tournament will continue on Wednesday, December 12, with the finals and third place playoffs in the second division, while the first division league will conclude on the following day. Matches are scheduled to commence at 18:30 hrs on both days. (Timothy Jaikarran)