Shorthanded Warriors take 1-0 lead

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August 14, 2018
Contributed Davial Smith of Inner City Avalanche (left) tries to drive past Jason Blake of Cornwall Courts Chargers in their encounter in the Western Elite Basketball League at the MoBay Cricket Club Court on Sunday.

Despite playing with a depleted squad, MoBay Boys' Club Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the best of three semi-finals of the Western Basketball Association (WBA) Division One.

The Warriors recorded an 80-69 win over Darliston Mystros in the first semi-final at the MoBay Cricket Club Court on Saturday with Ralique Grant scoring 26 points.

UWI-WJC Jayhawks were awarded a 1-0 lead after Holland Blue Rebels did not show up for the other semifinal on Sunday.

National under-17 player David Gordon, who is set to return this Friday, and team captain Tafari Vassell, are the main absentees from the Warriors.

"I think we have a pretty good chance of winning it. Couple guys are not here ... the captain, our leading scorers and our starting guard. With the squad we have now, they are picking up the slack and making a statement to say 'we can do it, too'," said coach Levar Rose.

He added: "With David Gordon's situation now, he is one of the most prolific guys we have on the team as far as athleticism, IQ and just a knack for the ball, also, being a

natural leader; you know he, is a national player for multiple sports, football and basketball. He is very compact and well endowed when it comes to the sport, so we need him back to make that push for the finals."

VASSELl'SRETURN

Rose is also anticipating the late return of Vassell, who he described as 'irreplaceable' with the points he has been scoring all season and the leadership he brings.

Over in the Western Elite Basketball League, the Granville Jaguars, who did not play over the weekend, remain top of the table on 20 points with a 10-from-10 win record. MoBay Cricket Club Knights (19), Catherine Hall All-Stars (18) and Holland Saints (16) close out the top four.

- K.A.

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