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Spikes, NZ Ballers for final

Justin Marville

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Spikes have a date with destiny – and a matchup with NZ Ballers for a title.
Larry King had seven of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter as basketball’s Kingz Of The Court tournament favourites booked their spot in the championship game via a 68-52 win over Pirates in Tuesday night’s semi-finals at the YMCA.
The win kept the St John-based side’s hopes of an unbeaten tournament run alive ahead of their final matchup against NZ Ballers, who beat CF Thunder 60-48 in the night’s earlier final four game.
Spikes led by as many as 12 points in the first half (33-21) after King and Audrey Gibson combined for all 16 of the team’s second-quarter points to transform a 17 all contest into a Spikes double-digit lead.
And the men from the east maintained that cushion in the third (47-36) in the ensuing third despite the best efforts of Shemiele Balgobin and Dwayne Currency before King truly put away the contest.
Stephen Lashley assisted King with 15 points, Damien Dawson added 11 points and Gibson finished with ten while Balgobin led all scorers with 17 points.
Earlier, Darren Adams erupted for 27 points, including eight of a game-clinching 17-11 fourth quarter run as NZ Ballers advanced to the final with a hard-fought 12-point victory.
Leading 43-37 at the end of the third, Adams had some quick baskets in succession to finally open up a double-digit cushion in the quarter. This was after NZ Ballers fell behind 18-14 heading into the second, despite Adams’ initial ten-point flurry.
But Jerome Small and Troy Paul quickly provided him with the perfect foils in that period as NZ Ballers took a 30-28 lead at the half. Small ended with ten points while Greg Springer led CF Thunder with 19.
The final is slated for Monday at the same venue.

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