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Knights defend crown - KFC National Basketball league finals
Anthony Minott, Gleaner Writer
POWER FORWARD Andrew Whilby scored two clutch-free throws near the death and helped his team, the Urban Knights, clinch back-to-back titles in the KFC National Basketball League competition on Wednesday night with a thrilling 62-61 triumph over the Port Royal Bulls in the third and decisive game at the National Stadium courts.
The Knights took the best-of-three series 2-1, having won game one 84-78 in overtime, before being beaten 60-56 by the Bulls in game two to force a game three.
"I must go back to those two crucial free throws by Andrew Whilby. He is a very determined player, at that stretch in the game, he's going to make those free throws," an elated, Calvin Martin, coach of Urban Knights said after the match.
"We took our timeout (before the Bulls last possession) and we organised our defence and the guys stayed disciplined and at the end you saw what happened ... it was a great game," Martin said.
"I hope the fans enjoyed themselves, I saw a lot of new faces in the crowd and that's good for basketball," he said.
Whilby, the Knights' big man, was fouled with four seconds left on the game clock. He calmly sank both free throws, giving his team a 62-61 lead, which proved to be the final score.
On the bench
The Bulls' Leighton Meeks, on the bench for a long period because of foul trouble, was surprisingly given the final shot and he missed a lay-up at the buzzer, which triggered wild celebrations by the Knights players and fans.
Javan Bailey led the Knights with 18 points and Whilby contributed 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Omar Barnes chipped in with 10 points. The Bulls' little warrior, Dovian Wade, had a game-high 23 points including two for five from the three-point arc, and Damion Young added 18 points and wrestled 12 rebounds.