THE MATTHEW Pierre Basketball Academy emerged as the dominant team in the bpTT-sponsored Mayaro Basketball League, walking away with the lion’s share of the major trophies at its prize-distribution function for the 2018/2019 season at the Mayaro Indoor Sporting Facility recently.
Coached by former TT player Matthew Pierre, the academy won the championship finals in the senior and under-19 divisions in grand style, taking several of the individual awards as well. For good measure, Pierre was voted coach of the tournament.
In the final of the senior division, the academy led from the first whistle to coast to a resounding 94-76 victory over a lacklustre TT Police Service, with former national player Stephen “Lighter” Lewis virtually lighting up the court with his eye-catching dexterity. Lewis was selected MVP of the final.
The academy came up against stiffer competition in the under-19 category against Arouca-based New Age Lions, before eventually emerging champions with a hard-earned 84-79 victory. New Age Lions, however, captured the under-16 divisional championship, overcoming Grande All Stars in a topsy-turvy encounter, 43-38.
The Mayaro Basketball League is organised by the South Corner Basketball Foundation with bpTT as its main sponsor. It is facilitated by All-Mayaro Sports Foundation, founded by bpTT to drive the development of sports in the south-eastern communities.
Pierre, who is bpTT’s community liaison officer, said the company was “proud and delighted” to be the main sponsor of the league, assuring officials and players of the company's commitment to the league in the years ahead. The sport in the region, he said, had a lot of potential to nurture professional players. Pierre congratulated the All Mayaro Sports Foundation and South Corner Basketball Foundation for good organisation and smooth execution of the competitions.
The bpTT representative said it was “very heartening” that several of the clubs fielded junior teams, thereby ensuring the sustained development of the sport in the wider south-eastern region.
Jameson Rigues, the All-Mayaro corporate secretary, said the standard of basketball displayed during the season was exceptional. He urged the people of Mayaro to come out in full force to support the sporting talent in the region. Rigues assured the region’s sporting fraternity that All-Mayaro was willing to assist all sporting activities, delivering on its mandate from bpTT.
Senior Division - Champions: Matthew Pierre Basketball Academy; Runners-up: TT Police Service; 3rd: RLRA Ambassadors
Under-19 Division - Champions: Matthew Pierre Basketball Academy; Runners-up: New Age Lions; 3rd: Grande Young Stars
Under-16 Division – Champions: New Age Lions; Runners-up: Grande Young Stars; 3rd: Matthew Pierre Basketball Academy
Individual Awards – Senior Division: MVP (League): Dexter Boxhill (MPBA); MVP (Final): Stephen “Lighter” Lewis (MPBA); Most Points: Mikhail Williams (RLRA) – 353; Most 3-pointers: Nathan Lewis (MPBA) – 87
Under-19 Division – MVP: Amit Singh (MPBA); Most 3-pointers: Amit Singh (MPBA) – 15; Most Points: Joel Timothy (New Age Lions) – 110
Under-16 Division – MVP: Kadeem Robertson (New Age Lions).