THERE will be a battle of experience against youth when the NBFTT National Invitational Championship final between Caledonia Clippers and Stories of Success (SOS) tips off, on Thursday, at 8.30pm, at the Maloney Indoor Sports Arena, Maloney, D’Abadie.
Clippers are awaiting their opponents after comfortably sweeping Defence Force (2-0) in the semi-final series. According to Clippers player Kenyatta Alfred,“It was a hard-fought victory. Standout player Adrian Joseph came up big to pull us through to the final. On the other hand, we have a battle now as the veterans will be coming up against the youngsters.”
However, SOS needed a game three to defeat Police 98-80 to clinch the series 2-1 and a deserving spot in the final. SOS’s leading scorers of the all-important match were Ahkeel “Smally” Boyd (29) followed by Kemrick Julien (19) and Clint Graham 14 points. The top scorers for the lawmen were Fabrice Fisher (23), Dextroy Manswell (18), and Jesse Hamilton (10).
SOS’s player/ coach Kern George said after the match, “The series was a well-fought battle. Defence and proper decision making were the key elements in being successful. The team really pulled together after the game two loss and believed that we deserved a spot in the National Championship Final.”
Both Sos and Clippers are confident of claiming the title in the best of three series finale. Alfred said, “We will be showing the basketball world that the upcoming youngsters will be great but the veterans are not letting down their guards so easily because we want the victory for the Caledonia-based team.
“The veteran team will be coming up against Kern George’s team who is very fit and vibrant and trains almost every-day.”
An optimistic George said,” This is the last tournament of the season and we want to end on a winning note. Clippers is a tall task but we believe if we trust our defence and make the right decisions on offence, we will be fine.
“We are confident in winning the series. The odds are against the veterans so come out and see us in full performance.” George, who is leading the youthful charge responded, “Our strength is our youth. We are young, but have experience from last year. Youth is given to us; experience we pay for.”
6:30 pm: Defence Force vs Police Service (Third Place Playoff)
8:30 pm: Stories of Success vs Caledonia Clippers (Game-1 Finals)
6:00 pm: Caledonia Clippers vs Stories of Success (Game-2 Finals)