Rebels anticipate tough NBL semis
After brushing aside eastern conference champion, Pure Playaz 96-47 in their National Basketball League (NBL) quarter-final at National Arena on Sunday, UWI Runnin' Rebels coach, Pete Matthews, has set his sights on the big prize. However, he believes their big test will come in the semi-final against star-studded Pembroke Hall on Saturday at the same venue.
All four Southern Conference clubs (Rebels, Pembroke Hall, St George's Slayers and Urban Knights) advanced to the semi-finals after comfortable quarter-final victories.
At the arena, Andre McLean had a game high 18 points, as Rebels cruised to victory. Ramon Carbon also had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Gary Wilson was Playaz' top scorer with 17 points.
Matthews said they started slowly but grew into the game. "We never expected much of a run from them (Playaz). Usually, the Eastern Conference is weak, so we used the game as preparation for the semis. I don't think our game flowed up to the second quarter but it picked up," he said.
They next face Pembroke Hall on Saturday and Matthews is wary of that prospect. "We have (time) to get ourselves prepared and we are looking forward to that. We have improved tremendously and having Kimani Ffriend has been a big boost. We are looking to get the title, but we will see what happens when it comes to that game. We have a great chance but we cannot relax. We have to go hard and give our best to ensure the win," he said.
game high 23
In the other quarter-final at the Arena, St George's Slayers defeated Mobay Knights 74-64. Michael Rogers had 17 points and Nick Golding 12 points and six rebounds. Jhaun Bryan was Mobay's top scorer with 14 points and seven rebounds.
At the Mobay Cricket Club, Pembroke Hall managed a 80-72 win over Granville Jaguars, with Damion Young scoring 19 points and Michael Jackson, 18 points for the winners. Dave Black was Jaguar's top scorer with a game high 23 points.
In the other game, Urban Knights defeated Team AAAH 81-53. Cordell Grant and Jerome Thomas top scored for the Knights with 14 and 11 points respectively. Astley Marshall and Keeble Wright were Team AAAH's main scorers with 18 and 16 points, respectively.