In the battle of the big men on the floor, Pearson Griffith of Warrens shoots over his opponent, Sydney Rowe of City United. He finished with 16 points in the 74-60 finals victory.
City United down one in BABA League Finals
City United Celtics looked to silence the doubters when they led the first quarter 18-27 against the Pan American International Insurance Warrens Sports Club, but the rest of the half did not go as planned.
Stephenson Callender had 12 points in the first quarter to lead the Celtics to a dominant position against the reigning Knockout champions. Warrens may have won the Knockouts easily, but the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association First Division League title would have to earned.
It did not take them long to get warmed up and show their grit on the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex court in Game 1 of the finals. The response to the first quarter by the Celtics was to blow them off the floor with a 22-6 second quarter performance. Former national big man, Pearson Griffith had nine of his 16 points in the period against the only other player in the league as big as he was, Sydney ‘Bouncer’ Rowe. The two locked horns all game with Griffith coming out on top with the win. With that push, Warrens took the lead at the half 40-33, and never looked back.
The youth of the Warrens team, Dario Cumberbatch kept the points flowing when the second half started, scoring eight points in the third. City were not far behind and were only outscored by two points in the quarter, but as much as it was a positive, the game was still slipping out of their hands.
In the final quarter, Warrens again looked the better team on the floor, scoring at will with good passing on the court. It was a team effort in the fourth, however, with no individual player standing out. The effort was enough to keep Celtics at bay and come away with the 74-60 Game 1 victory.
Zahir Motara had a team-high with 17 points for Warrens with Griffith adding 16 and Peter Alleyne 15. For City United, Richard Payne topscored in the game with 18 points and Callender had 16.
Game 2 is slated for tonight at 7 p.m. at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex with City trying to even the series and Warrens attempting to make it a double title season. (AS)