LSC ready for Game 5
LOOKS LIKE the champs were also in the dark regarding Andre Lockhart’s availability.
Lumber Company LSC assistant coach Derek Browne contends the team didn’t exactly know when the English-based point guard was scheduled to return, thus failing to include him in the game plans for Game 4’s defeat to Pinelands in the Co-operators General Insurance Premier League basketball finals.
Browne, however, didn’t say why Lockhart wasn’t in the line-up, but reasoned the squad prepared as if he wouldn’t be available.
“We were approaching this like we had for the entire regular season when he wasn’t here because we weren’t sure about his flight plans,” explained Browne.
“We were going forward like normal without him as this is the team we have but of course he is still a part of the club and a part of the team.”
The comments shed some light on a puzzling scenario that unfolded in Game 4, with the star floor general not being drafted into the squad despite landing in Barbados a day before the all-important contest which Pinelands eventually won 65-62.
Lockhart had earlier turned up to the Wildey Gym to work out hours before the game, and then sat on the bench with his teammates to cheer on the champs during the contest.
And LSC seemed certain of closing out the series without him, leading by as many as 11 with just over four minutes to play.
But the Pine bounced right back, closing the contest on a game-winning 17-2 rally, leading many pundits to ponder whether LSC could have really done with his elite scoring, ball-handling and playmaking skills.
“We know what Andre Lockhart brings [but] the game was there for us to win,” said Browne.
“We still have to tip our hats to Pinelands because they made it happen when the writing seemed to be on the wall.”
Browne declined to comment when asked if Lockhart will suit up for tomorrow’s deciding Game 5 at the Barbados Community College following in the footsteps of head coach Francis Williams and Lockhart himself, who have all publicly refused to shed light on the issue.
But Browne did affirm the team would be able to bounce back from that epic late-game collapse saying they had learnt from the experience and refuse to dwell on that defeat.
“We didn’t lose a championship as we still have a Game 5 to play and we just need to realise there’s nothing we can do about it now,” said Browne.
“The team is fine as we understand it is all part of basketball and now we understand what we need to do to win. It’s not like we’re desperate either because it’s not as if anyone has been blown out.
“We’ve played them seven times now so we know all there is to know so there are no adjustments to be made, the players have to be the ones now to win the game,” he added.