Sandals upset Barbuda 1 to secure semis spot

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It was celebration time for Sandals who pulled off a huge upset in the Cool and Smooth Digicel Business Basketball league playoffs on Wednesday night edging out Barbuda 1, 64-62, at the JSC Sports Complex.
   Barbuda 1, led by Cohen Desouza who ended the match with 25 points were a force to be reckoned with, dominating on both the offensive and defensive ends.
   Sandals found themselves down by some 15 points in the second half but with the support of the Sandals organisation to include General Manager, Gaurav “Mr. G” Sindhi, department managers and representatives, the team rallied to carve out the narrow victory.
The highly contested match went down to the wire with both teams exchanging baskets but Sandals would reign supreme with Coy Quinland scoring the game winning shot.
  Quinland ended the match with 25 points for Sandals with assistance from Keroi “Dragon” Lee and Devorn Benjamin who both scored 15.
 Barbuda 1’s Orlando Morris scored 11 and Deandris Connell, 10.
 Captain of the winning team, Mario Samuel spoke briefly on his team’s performance.
  “We weren’t playing as a team in the early stages of the game but after speaking with them and taking the role as coach we began to play Sandals Basketball.
“We have two of the top scorers on our team being Coy and Devorn from behind the arc but they were struggling so we switched and decided to take the basketball inside and that worked for us. Also, we have a team of hard workers; guys like Dragon, Willis Drew, Javid Joseph and Jamarie Hastings, who contributed so much on the defensive end and even Keddy Martin despite not getting a lot of playing time.”
 Samuel then spoke on the impact the fans had on the team.
“To see so many of the workers especially those in the higher level, Mr. G for example, come out and support us gave us a boost and we definitely went out there and played hard just to give them the win.”
 The 2016 playoffs saw Sandals disappointedly being eliminated in the semi-finals.
With this memory, Samuel was confident that history would not repeat itself.
“We are waiting to see who we will be facing in the semis but our game plan is to play team ball and go hard.”
“We were eliminated in the semis last year but this year whosoever we play, they need to be ready ‘cause we are ready”.
 Antigua and Barbuda Transport Board are one step closer in their quest to winning the double as they trumped Fitzroy Rewinding Transformers 92-64.
 Kareem “Macky” Edwards had a game high 35 points for Transport Board.
He was assisted by Bryan “Hollywood” Matthew and Marlon “Buju” Charles who scored 21 and 15 points respectively.
Transformers’ Eric Joseph had 22 points while teammates, Kwame Payne and Akeem Davis contributed by sinking 14 and 12 points.
 Josias David chipped in with 10 points in a losing effort.
The semi-finals will shoot off on Saturday night at the JSC Sports Complex starting at 7 p.m.   

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