Cybots and Giants to play in finals
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Apr 02, 2012
Losing a 15-point lead with less than five minutes to play in regulation has convinced the Mailboat Cybots’ head coach Wayde Watson that it is time to go back to the drawing board, if they want to defeat the Commonwealth Bank Giants.
The Giants are the defending champions in the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) and were awaiting the winner of the Cybots and Real Deal Shockers match-up, so the finals can get on the way. The Cybots got a scare on Saturday, when the Shockers rallied back with a 12-2 run in the opening minutes of the fourth. The Shockers are the league’s runner’s-up and were hoping to avenge last year’s lost, but Brian Bain was not about to let that happen. He banged in two clutch free throws, sealing the deal for the Cybots a 91-89 victory.
The Shockers, on the wings of Floyd Armbrister Jr., had tied the score at 77, with less than two minutes remaining. But this was when Bain was at his best. He scored six consecutive points giving the Cybots the lead once again. Jeremy Hutchinson netted a short jumper, putting the Shockers up by one. Armbrister followed Hutchinson’s shot up with a baseline lay-up. The Shockers were up by one when Bain sliced through the defense and drew the foul. The shot dropped, and the basket was good. Bain stepped on the free throw line looking to complete the three-point play but would miss the extra point.
Armbrister got the rebound passed it over to Sidney Hillary who found an open Cory Williams on the wing.
Williams’ jumper tied things up once again
but Nelson Joseph, of the Cybots would give his team breathing room with a long three-pointer.
With less than a minute remaining, Armbrister and crew were trying to get a two-for-one deal. He sprinted down the court and connected on the reverse lay-up. But his aggressiveness, on the opposite side of the court, would put Bain on the free-throw line. Bain netted both which forced the Shockers to call a time-out, wanting to strategize.
When they returned to the court, Hillary was in control of the ball hoping to free-up Armbrister but the Cybots were doubling him. The final shot, thrown up was no good.
“We need stops,” said Watson. “We can score against any team but we can’t stop them at times. Our zone defense is allowing players to come straight down the middle. At the end of the day you would see that majority of their points were scored in the middle and we were in foul trouble.
“We showed great signs tonight, but we know that it is not going to be an easy game with the Giants. They beat us in the regular season so we are now being looked at as the underdogs against them. They are the defending champions so we have to come out and see what they have to offer. We have to stop their run. Stop the three-point shooters. Bottom line is we just have to come out and play hard.”
The two Bains, Brian and Eugene, were the top scorers for the Cybots with 20 points, Ahmad Bootle chipped in with 18. Armbrister was the game’s top scorer with 37 points.
The best of five championship series will get on the way tonight at the DW Davis gymnasium. Game tips off at 8p.m.