By Rawle Toney
After two weeks of intense basketball action, it’s all down to the final of the Ministry of Sport Inter-Schools Mashramani Basketball Tournament which will be contested today between President’s College and the Government Technical Institute (GTI).
At Thursday’s semi-finals at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, President’s College edged Charlestown Secondary 34-29 while GTI blew past St Stanislaus College (Saints) 74-47.
The President’s College/Charlestown match was by far the most exciting game of the day with both schools really putting their all into the match but as they say in sports, there could only be one winner.
President’s College, despite playing the better basketball and having one of the better players in the tournament in point guard Richard Mohandatt, often found it difficult to deal with the collective effort from Charlestown.
Although their individual skills were not up to par with Mohandatt, Charlestown coach Naylon Loncke orchestrated several plays which proved too difficult for the young Mohandatt’s side to evade.
But the young ball handler using his initiative was able to involve his teammates who responded well to his efforts. At half time the scoreboard read 18-13 in favour of President’s College
In the second half, Charlestown came out playing a bit more purposefully but they were plagued by turn overs by their ball handlers who coach Loncke rotated from time to time in search of a solution.
Luckily for Charlestown, the President’s College players failed to capitalize on their mistakes or the margin of victory for the East Coast school would have been quite remarkable as they held on to book a place in the final.
Mohandatt only finished the game with six points but his all round effort was what was important. His teammate, Willon Cameron, however, top scored with a game high 12 points. For Charlestown, Colin Nelson and the team’s leading scorer Orison Amsterdam each netted a mere six points.
The other match between GTI and Saints turned out to be a one- sided affair as GTI walked all over their opponents. Little or no resistance was put up by Saints against the technical institute players. However, this still does not mean that GTI was playing high calibre basketball since they made just as many errors as the Saints players.
GTI is yet to face an opponent who would really test them in the tournament and since they got past Saints (74-47) and will face President’s College in the final, they will certainly have to play their best.
Nevertheless, Shelroy Thomas, who stands out with the sharp shooting from beyond the arc, led all scorers with 27 points while Keyon Hayles supported with 18. Only Mikhail Husband showed any opposition for Saints as he netted 10 points.
Today’s action is scheduled to begin at 4:00 pm with the third place play off between Charlestown Secondary and Saints while the GTI/President’s College match-up will follow immediately.