By Carlena Knight
Big time players make time shots, and F and G Trading Cuties Ovals Ojays player, Joshua Minner lived up to that statement on ‘Super Sunday’ night at JSC. Minner, while falling to the floor, made an unbelievable buzzer beater shot to stun Flyers Basketball by beating them 102-99 and left fans at the arena in astonishment.
Tensions were at an all-time high at the arena that night as both teams met for the first time this season. It was a seesaw battle down the line as both Esteban Martinez, the Spanish sensation for the orange men, and Joshua Minner traded baskets with highlight after highlight leaving fans at the edge of their seats.
Despite Martinez fouling out with a 37-point, 11-rebound performance, the tide seemed to turn in favour of Flyers with Russell Daley having a chance to seal the deal with 20 seconds left on the clock. But after fumbling at the net and another unforced turnover by teammate Sharife Sergeant, Minner would rise to the occasion and dagger the Flyers team and their supporters. leaving JSC in a frenzy.
The overseas-based player ended the match with a game high 41 points and seven rebounds.
Minner shared what exactly was going through his mind during that play.
“I feel like I have more than ice in my veins. I feel like I am a quiet assassin. I don’t say too much, I just let my game do the talking. But I didn’t want to go to overtime and I knew that once I got the ball to a specific spot I could hit that shot but I didn’t know I was going to hit it like that.
“I was so surprised. I just said ‘thank you Jesus’. Once I saw it go in, I didn’t believe myself ‘I’m like did it really go in?’ and then I just saw everybody rush me and rush onto the court and then I was like, ‘alright yeah, it definitely went in’, then I heard a specific person say it’s baby food.”
Captain Bryan “Hollywood” Matthew assisted netting 21 points and Troy Vasco 12 points with nine rebounds while, for Flyers, Eddy Peillon contributed with 22 points and 18 rebounds.
Sergeant chipped in with 13 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort.
Ovals thus far have only lost one match and sit second in the Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) Division one standings.
Minner still, however, believes that the team is not playing to its fullest potential.
“As of right now, I feel it’s not at the moment because we don’t have all our players just as yet but I feel like once we get our players who are coming in very soon, I feel like we are going to be a better team than what we were before.
“We have two young players that just came to the team, so we are trying to make sure we’re bonding and the chemistry is well. I feel like once everyone jells and a few of our players from last year come back, then we will be even better than last year,” he concluded.
Potters Steelers were also victorious that evening, trouncing Baldwin Braves 87-66.
Lindsay McDonald and Decosta Walbrook both netted 17 points with assistance from national players Kareem “Macky” Edwards and Cohen Desouza who both sank 16 points for Steelers Nation.
Head Coach of Potters Steelers Harold “Bobby” Joseph said he believes the team — after their rough patch — are now finally finding their stride.
“In a way, we are coming out and listening more; the cohesion is just better. After losing those two matches to the two top teams, Stingerz and Ovals, the guys’ heads were a bit down and there was a little query for playing time but I told the guys ‘hey look we are still in it; the season is still young. Let us stay together and focus on our main goal’, and to me they are picking up; they are jelling much better and they are listening some more.”
Nechus Jones netted 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Braves. Raymond Dickenson and Bernard Andrew both made 10 in a losing effort.