The semi-final round of the Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA)/Trophy Stall Championships will commence today at the Mackenzie Sports Club (MSC) Hard court.
In the feature contest at 21:30hrs, fourth place qualifier the Kashif and Shanghai Kings will face off with number one qualifier Bankers Trust Falcons.
Finishing with a record of three wins and three losses in the preliminary round, the Kings qualified for the final four by defeating Retrieve Raiders 67-46. Steve Neils Jr. and Orin Rose led Kings with 22 points and 17 points respectively.
Averaging 11.2 points per game, Neils Jr. in combination with Omally Sampson, Marvin Hartman and Rose who average 9.75, 9.75 and 9 points respectively per game, must continue their recent resurgence if the Kings are to clinch a finals berth.
Defeating the Kings 47-42 in their earlier fixture, Falcons will depend on power forward Lawrence DaCosta and guard Leonard Caleb who average 12.8 and 11.6 points correspondingly per game to power them to victory. The opening semifinal matchup at 19:30hrs will see second placed qualifier Amelia’s Ward Jets opposing third place qualifier Retrieve Raiders.
With both sides finishing their preliminary campaign with an identical record of four wins and two losses, a close matchup is expected following their earlier meeting which was won by the Jets 70-63.
Siblings Shane and Allister Webster have proven to be a potent combination for the Amelia’s Ward side, averaging 15.6 and 8.6 points respectively. The success of the Jets going forward will rest heavily on their shoulders.
Unfortunately for Raiders they will be without their leading scorer and national shooting guard Neil Marks, national centre Dwayne Roberts and young centre Omar Sam.
Marks who is expected to be sidelined for a while with an injury to his right hand, averages a tournament high 18 points from 4 games while Sam is nursing an ankle injury.
Faced with a dearth of scoring options, Raiders will rely on Sheldon Noel who recorded figures of 7.3 points per game, Nicky Barnes and Yannick Primo to up their game when jump ball commences.
Today’s gate receipts will go towards assisting former national footballer and current secretary of the MSC Phillip Gibbons to cover medical expenses for an eye surgery which is to be done shortly.