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Knights, Bulls launch title shoot-out
Defending champions Urban Knights will face newcomers Port Royal Bulls in Game One of the best-of-three finals of the National Basketball League, starting at 8:00 tonight at the National Stadium.
Meanwhile, Waulgrovians Bullets and Braves Smilers will meet in the women's league final, starting at 6p.m.
The Knights, coming off a nail-biting 2-1 series victory over Majesty Gardens, are aiming to be the first team in the history of the NBL to win back-to-back titles in the five-year running of the competition.
Knights defeated the Bulls in all three meetings this season, twice in the league and also in the mid-season finals.
Both teams have impressed in all departments on their way to the finals, but today's encounter could develop into a real battle at the point guard position between the Knights' Javon Bailey and the Bulls' Paul Oliphant.
Calvin Martin, coach of Urban Knights, said he his expecting a hotly-contested battle.
"We are going out there to give it our best shot because I think we have the depth to do it, and I am hoping that this depth will demonstrate itself against the Bulls," said Martin.
He added that the team is in high spirits because there are 12-teams in the league and they have managed to reach the finals and they are blessed to be there.
"Once we play our A-game then I think it is going to be a highly competitive encounter because we have a very solid team," Martin noted.
Meanwhile the Bulls recorded an easy 2-0 series victory over Tivoli Gardens and their manager, Ann-Marie Massey, is very optimistic.
"We are pretty confident but not too over confident. We know the Knights are a very talented and disciplined team," said Massey.
"However, man-to-man we are equally talented and we have proven that we can rise to the occasion," she said.
Massey added that her team's preparations have gone well because they have worked on their weaknesses and are looking forward to the encounter.
"Our young players in the squad have stepped up their game and have contributed to the success of the team, and we're hoping that they can continue in this vein for the finals," Massey added.
- Robert Bailey