Six on trot for Jackson
How often do you see a six-foot-ten centre diving around for loose balls?
Just as often as you’ve seen Jackson lose a recent Premier League basketball game.
Led by a 17-point performance from former national player Peter Alleyne, British American Insurance Jackson recorded their sixth straight victory when they defeated the league leading Act II Popcorn Clapham Bulls 69-63 at the Wildey Gymnasium last Thursday night.
Jackson’s recent run, which also includes wins against Pinelands and Warriors, have helped catapult them into second place with an 8-4 record, just one point behind Clapham, who dropped to 9-3.
So intent was Jackson’s towering centre Pearson Griffith on keeping his side’s run intact, that he could be seen scampering for every loose ball, even making a diving attempt late in the second quarter.
Despite his efforts, a Jackson victory had seemed unlikely during a crucial five-minute span in the third quarter, when Clapham, led by point guard Rahiim Gibbons, responding to a 7-0 run by Jackson to start the period after the scores had been locked at 39 at the half, went on a 13-0 run of their own to seize the initiative.
Gibbons was responsible for eight of those points, hitting two huge treys which were sandwiched by a baseline jumper to give his side a 52-46 lead with 2:55 remaining in the quarter.
Another three pointer from Gibbons extended that lead to 7 (57-50), and things got even worse for Jackson just a minute later when Manuel Alleng hobbled off with a sprained right ankle after diving for a loose ball.
It proved to be the spark that Jackson needed, as seven quick points from Alleyne, which included a baseline trey which tied the game at 57, and then the go-ahead basket with one of his trademark ‘Yankee spins’ which left three Clapham defenders in his wake as he glided to the ring for an easy layup.
With 4:47 to go Kevin Austin hit a tough jumper over Halley Franklyn to push Jackson’s lead to 3 (63-60), and despite Sydney Rowe’s bank shot which brought Clapham back to within one, baskets by Alleyne and Gavin Robinson, along with a crucial block by Griffith on Mark Foster with 37 seconds left, were enough to give Jackson the win.
Javid Beckles and Austin both scored 15 points, with Alleng chipping in with 11 for the winners, while for the Bulls Jeremy Gill led all scorers with 20 points, Rowe added 15 and Gibbons and Foster each scored 11 points.