ON THE BALL: Trouble in Hothersal
In this edition of On The Ball, NATION basketball writer Justin Marville reviews another week of action in the Co-operators General Insurance Premier League season.
INSIGHTS, OBSERVATIONS and musings of an eventful weekend of basketball at the Barbados Community College.
So the wheels continue to turn on Cougars’ crisis.
Or is it that they’ve fallen off? However the analogy is written, it all spells trouble in Hothersal.
Not to keep beating the proverbial dead horse, but that’s now two head coaches gone, two losses in three games and one big headache trying to figure out how to turn things around.
And from where I sit it looks like Adrian Stewart no longer wants anything to do with this mess after being absent for yet another second half where he took out a solitary field goal attempt.
If there’s a silver lining to this, and there really doesn’t seem to be one, at least Terrence Roach continues to play the role of good soldier in a company of very bad troops.
But don’t for one moment think this marriage is a good one, lest you forget he took the rock out of Ricardo Jemmott’s hot hands to commit four straight turnovers that all but doomed Cougars down the stretch against champions LSC.
There’s still a lot of time to get things right as this season is a fairly long one, although I’m guessing a certain fan base is right now wishing that it wasn’t.
It was rather early in coming but you can’t exactly say that Oliver Nicholas’ resignation is anything of a surprise.
I really respect the now departed Cougars signal-caller as a coach, fellow former council member and friend, but I must say he hasn’t done anything to improve his reputation as a coach who doesn’t stay in one place too long.
In his defence, though, not even Phil Jackson would dare dream of dealing with all those personalities and egos for an entire season. Still, three games have to be a bit too soon, especially considering there were at least 12 games remaining on the calendar after the LSC fixture.
Yeah, I would think long and hard about continuing with that stress too.
That certainly was a startling loss for the Pine, even if I believe the result says more about Station Hill’s mettle than any problem Pinelands may have right now.
There are issues to be certain though, even if minor, and head coach Renaldo Maughn will have to address some things going forward – like Jeremy Gill hijacking his offence late in games.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s really comforting to see one of the country’s best refusing to shy away from the ball in the clutch, especially after watching a certain MVP treat the second half of the games as a personal pilgrimage.
However, it has to be said fhat Gill spent way too much time sizing up and facing up to Station Hill defenders, thus allowing Cavs to load up one side of the floor against him while turning his teammates into mere bystanders.
This isn’t exactly Clapham, so there really is no need for Gill to dominate the rock with the wealth of talent now surrounding him, and considering that quick ball movement has been the staple of Pinelands’ success thus far.
BOY, the Barbados Community College (BCC) make games look that much better.
Just this weekend alone the exodus from Wildey brought about Station Hill’s depowering of the super friends, another Lakers-Cougars classic and arguably the game of the year that saw Tridents fall short of upsetting Warrens.
Of course, shorter arcs and lowered hoops on a smaller court where fans are but an arm’s length away from the action will always lead to a more exciting product.
Just don’t confuse “exciting” with good, though, as the quick play only serves to mask these players’ general lack of skills – similar to T20 cricket.
The council could always try to get more games at the “college” to better market its show, only that the real production would come this summer if the national team was to be shown up due to delusions of grandeur from playing at the BCC.
You know what would really make the games better? If each whistle wasn’t followed by a whine.
Man, is it getting annoying to have to sit and listen to players, coaches and fans protest every single call in every game on every night.
I’m not trying to defend the officiating, but apparently no one commits fouls or violations in this league anymore – or at least not those who should be called.
Honestly, though, it’s gone past the point of ridiculous so much that the game seems even slower amidst the constant complaining.
And it’s not like the games outside the “College” can afford to be played any slower.
Believe me when I say Saturday is the last time I will ever miss a game at the BCC, regardless of the reason.
Yup, the one game I failed to see this season just happened to be what’s now being billed as the game of the year between Warrens and Tridents.
As luck would have it, the instant classic also featured the season’s best dunk thus far – a thunderous one-handed throw-down from schoolboy Nikolai Burton in a jam-packed key.
And there was no major marvel behind my absence either as I was covering one of the most straightforward Gold Cups ever. Go figure.
I know Warrens eventually ended up winning that last-minute thriller, but the club has to be anything but thrilled with the game.
Or this season, for that matter. That it came down to the final moments for them to beat a winless schoolboys side must be of concern to the brain trust, especially when that win is their very first of the season.
More worrisome still is the tense relationship between head coach Peter Alleyne and injured star centre Pearson Griffith that has led to the latter deciding to sit out the last contest.
This surely isn’t a great time to be in Warrens. On the bright side, that time may not have many Premier League days left in it.