Your Premier Jamaican Sports Portal
Vipers capture WBA/Fruta/Oasis title
Adrian Frater, News Editor
Hopewell Vipers crowned themselves Western Basketball Association/Fruta/Oasis Purified Water Development League champions on Sunday night when scored a hard-fought 67-63 win over preseason favourites Central Flames in the cham-pionship game at the Montego Bay Cricket Club Courts.
The Vipers, who had qualified for the finals 24 hours earlier when they defeated the fancied Boys Club Warriors in the first of two semi-final games on Saturday night, lost Sunday night's first quarter 18-15. They rallied defiantly to upstage their opponents in the all-Hanover final.
"Flames beat us twice in the regular season and we came here tonight ready to turn the tables on them," said Junior Grey, player/coach for Vipers. "I believe we played an excellent game tonight and that we are truly deserving of this title."
In the play-off for third place, which preceded the final, Warriors got a consolation prize with a 68-55 win over Blazers.
By virtue of their win, Warriors join Vipers and Flames as qualifiers for next season's Lucozade men's championship, the WBA's premier competition.
In the final, Flames won the first quarter 18-15 but Vipers bounced back to win the second quarter 18-12. The third quarter ended 16-16 while Blazers took the final quarter 18-17.
Demar McGregor, who scored a game-high 27 points and 13 rebounds. was named the most valuable player of the final.
In addition to the flamboyant McGregor, Vipers also got excellent service from Kirk Blake, 14 points, and Gavin Forbes, who had 12 points.
Greg Dorman, who had 24 points, Julian Walker with 19 and Kurt Dorman, eleven and 14 rebounds, all played well for Flames.
In the third place play-off, Warriors started slowly as they drew the first quarter at 11-11 and lost the second 19-16. However, they were rampant in the third and fourth quarters, brushing aside Blazers 23-12 and 18-13.
Sheldon Lyle with 24 points and Andr? Parkinson, 11, were the outstanding players for the Warriors, whose only loss of the season was their semi-final defeat by Vipers.
Damion Williams and Christopher Wolfe, who had 19 and 14 points, respectively, played well for Blazers.