Union Island All-Stars defeated Bequia All-Stars by 5 points to hold on to the Digicel Grenadines Basketball Championship, which concluded in Bequia last weekend.
Bequia All-Stars went down as much as 15 points in the second quarter but rallied back to bring the score to a 30 to 38 margin at half time, and tying the game in the 4th quarter with 45 seconds left on the clock.
Missed free throw opportunities was the deciding factor as Bequia came close, but victory eluded them once again.
Four Grenadine teams — Bequia AllStars, Canouan Islanders, Mayreau Kings and Union Island All-Stars – participated in the annual competition.
The competition began on October 24th in Ashton, Union Island, and games were also played in Canouan on Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, and concluding in Bequia last weekend, with the semi-finals, finals, and trophy presentation.
National point guard Steveon Taylor of Union Island was awarded the tournament Most Valuable Player and received many other trophies including MVP for his team, Final Game MVP, most assists, and most steals in six games.
Canouan Islanders defeated the Mayreau Kings in the third place game, with veteran captain Damian Harry of Canouan being adjudged Team MVP, as well as receiving the most points trophy with 147 in 6 games.
Centre Orando Blugh of the Bequia All-Stars received his team’s MVP and Warrican Myers of Canouan was awarded most blocks and most rebounds. Owen Isaacs of Mayreau was adjudged his team’s MVP.
The tournament, which first began in 2003, gives the talented elite players of the Grenadines an opportunity to display their skills and to compete at a high level of competition, as well as sustaining healthy sporting rivalries between the islands.
Sponsors include Digicel as title sponsor, John Clark and Il Sogno Villa of Canouan, Wind and Sea Ltd and Frangipani Hotel.
The technical aspects of the games and administration are handled by Sabrina Mitchell and the Bequia Basketball Association, with assistance from Rohan Henry, president of the Canouan Association, and Roseman Adams, president of the Southern Grenadines Basketball Championship. Both Parliamentary representatives of the Northern and Southern Grenadines, Loraine Friday and Terrence Ollivierre, attended the finals and spoke at the conclusion of the event.
Both representatives congratulated the winning team, commended the organisers of the competition and thanked the sponsors for their commitment to basketball in the Grenadines.
Friday and Ollivierre thanked Mitchell for her efforts to organize the competition.
Ollivierre challenged Bequia to bring better competition for Union Island, who have won the competition more than any other team since the inception. He also commended Mayreau on their stellar efforts despite being short of a few members.
Friday commended the Bequia team for their success in reducing the margin of victory and providing an exciting conclusion.
Mitchell, president of the Bequia Association, thanked the sponsors and administrators Henry and Adams and his support team Danis Coy, Philmon Taylor and Seymour LaBorde. She specifically expressed gratitude to Canouan for their efforts to help fund the very expensive tournament, which involves covering the cost of the boat transportation and house rental for some 80 persons over a two and a half week period. She concluded challenged the other basketball associations in the Grenadines to develop their under-15 players, as Bequia has done in the past 10 years to ensure sustainability of basketball in the Grenadines, but also with the hope of having a Under-15 Grenadines youth championship in the not too distant future.
FRIDAY NOV 7th: SEMI FINAL GAMES
Union Island All-Stars defeat Mayreau Kings 128 to 54 to move on to the finals
-leading scorer Union Island: Steveon Taylor with 24 pts, 10 reb, 6 asst, 4 set
-leading scorer Mayreau: Damain FOrde with 18 pts, 9 reb, 2 stea
Bequia All-Stars defeat Canouan 70 to 66 and move on to finals
-leading scorer Bequia: Keithroy Lavia with 17pts, 4 reb, 4 assts
-leading scorer Canouan: Damian Harry with 17 pts.11 reb, 4 asst
SATURDAY NOV 8th: THIRD PLACE GAME AND FINALS
THIRD PLACE GAME: Canouan defeat Mayreau 82 to 73
-leading scorer Canouan: Dwayne John with 23 pts, 4 assts, 4 steal, 1 blk
-leading scorer Mayreau: Tarik Ollivierre with 22 pts, 3 assts, 2 steals
Union Island All-Stars defeat Bequia All Stars 69 to 63
-leading scorer Union: Stevon Taylor with 14 pts, 5 steals, 1 asst, 1 blk
-leading scorer Bequia: Orando Blugh with 14 pts, 9 reb, 1 asst, 2 blks