Maloney Pacers close New Chapter in Dial basketball finals

Arima MP Pennelope Beckles presents Maloney Pacers coach Christopher Jackson with the prize after his team won the Dial Basketball premier division finals on the weekend. -
Arima MP Pennelope Beckles presents Maloney Pacers coach Christopher Jackson with the prize after his team won the Dial Basketball premier division finals on the weekend. -

Maloney Pacers defeated New Chapter Basketball Academy 2-0 to win the premier division finals of the DIAL Basketball at the Princess Royal Basketball Court, Arima, on March 28.

Following a dominant performance by Pacers in game one, the Maloney boys did not let their foot off the gas, eager to wrap up the series in consecutive games.

The opening quarter set the stage for a gritty battle, as New Chapter unveiled defensive adjustments to contain Pacers' standout player, Ahkeel "Smally" Boyd. Despite their efforts, Pacers managed to pull ahead late in the quarter, securing a slim 20-16 lead.

In the second quarter, Pacers maintained their superiority, with Ahkeel Boyd's twin brother, Ahkeem, stepping up to contribute to the team's offensive prowess. Although New Chapter made valiant efforts to narrow the gap, Pacers maintained their composure, heading into halftime with a commanding 40-27 advantage.

Pacers shut the door firmly in the third quarter, delivering a stellar performance on both ends of the court. New Chapter struggled to keep pace, managing only ten points while Pacers extended their lead with a 24-point surge.

Despite New Chapter's spirited comeback attempt in the fourth quarter, where they outscored Pacers by 15 points (30-15), the hole they were in was too deep to climb out of.

Maloney Pacers emerged victorious with a final score of 79-67, completing the sweep of both divisions after being crowned winners of the championship division the previous Saturday.

Although New Chapter showed improvement, holding Pacers to their lowest points of the tournament, the formidable Pacers still finished the tournament with a flawless 9-0 record.

Dial Basketball league MVP Ahkeel Boyd, left, collects his award. -

The presence of Minister of Planning and Development and Arima MP Pennelope Beckles added prestige to the final as she assisted in presenting the premier division champions with their cash prize of $20,000 and the coveted DIAL Champions trophy.

Ahkeel Boyd's stellar performances throughout the tournament earned him both the League MVP title and the Finals MVP trophy, capping off a remarkable campaign for Pacers.

In the earlier showdown, Caracas City and Black Mamba delivered an epic battle for third place in the premier division. Memories of their double-overtime clash in the group stage fuelled anticipation as both teams left it all on the court.

From the first dribble, both teams traded baskets in a display of sheer determination. Black Mamba managed to carve out a slight lead at the end of the first quarter, holding a narrow 16-13 advantage.

The second quarter saw Black Mamba attempting to extend their lead, pushing ahead by as much as 11 points at one stage. However, Caracas City refused to back down, battling to narrow the deficit to just two points by halftime, with the score standing at 31-29.

As the game progressed, the intensity only increased, with each team refusing to relinquish control. The third quarter unfolded as a back-and-forth battle, with Black Mamba once again surging ahead by nine points, only to be reeled in by a determined Caracas City squad. By the end of the quarter,Caracas City trailed by just a basket.

The final quarter proved to be a roller-coaster of emotions, with Black Mamba seemingly taking control to lead by ten points with just over four minutes remaining. However, Caracas City rallied valiantly, mounting an incredible comeback to level the score and eventually take the lead with a clutch free throw with only 50 seconds on the clock.

In the closing seconds, Black Mamba had one final opportunity to force overtime. However, they scored a two points when three was needed to tie the game. The buzzer sounded, sparking celebrations among Caracas City players and fans.

Organisers thanked the Ministry of Sport and Community Development, Beckles, Mayor of Arima Balliram Maharaj, and the Arima Borough Corporation for their invaluable contributions to the successful hosting of the event.

New Chapter player Stephen Edwards, left, collects the runner-up prize after losing the Dial Basketball finals. -

Reflecting on the inaugural season, tournament co-ordinator Kern George said, "I am deeply thankful to God for guiding us through a successful tournament. Two-plus months of basketball on an outdoor court with only two days of rain? We couldn't have achieved this without His grace and blessings, and I give all glory to Him."

George added, "We are truly pleased that the tournament met its objectives of revitalising basketball in Arima and providing a platform for players to showcase their talent. It's been a joy to witness the level of skill and determination shown by the athletes, and clubs have already expressed they'll be going hard to prepare for the next edition of the DIAL."

Assistant co-ordinator Chevon Le Gendre praised the commitment of the players and coaches and lauded the fans.

Looking ahead to the future, Le Gendre said, "Based on what was achieved in the 2024 season, we are extremely optimistic about the future. We have some exciting improvements in mind to enhance the experience for players, fans, and all stakeholders, and I'm confident that the 2025 season will be even better."


"Maloney Pacers close New Chapter in Dial basketball finals"

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