Posted on

Pinelands, LSC set for showdown


Pinelands, LSC set for showdown

Social Share

?TWO GREAT powerhouses.
?One game.
Absolutely zero room for error.
The rematch everyone wanted may just surpass expectations, with defending champions Lumber Company LSC and heavy pre-season favourites Pinelands set to leave it on the floor for tonight’s winner-takes-all Game 5 of the Co-operators General Insurance Premier League basketball finals.
It’s a finish most could only dream of, but still secretly wished for from the time star players Ramon Simmons, Junior Moore and Halley Franklyn decided to join forces in The Pine and create a super team alongside Jeremy Gill and Charles Vanderpool.
Yet even with the combined firepower on both sides, and the history of last year’s finals matchup, few still would’ve envisaged a title series going the distance, considering it hasn’t been done so since 2004.
But here there are – the champs and the contenders – heading to a deciding Game 5 in the unlikeliest of scenarios.
Hardly a pundit gave LSC a chance, not even after they swept the Pine but a season ago, as Pinelands established themselves as the team to beat via a pair of double-digit regular season wins over the champs.
However, the odds were turned upside down, and the Pine’s chances with them, when Lakers were the ones storming out to a commanding 2-0 lead on the back of two fourth-quarter runs.
And they seemed on course for a second sweep in two years after battling back from down 13 to tie Game 3 in the waning moments.
Of course, the series would provide yet another twist, with Gill coming up with the game-winning lay-up before Pinelands reversed the roles and rallied from down 11 in Game 4 to force this title decider.
“This is great for basketball, with all the interest peaking around the finals and I can just hope the fans turn out again for Game 5,” said Barbados Amateur Basketball Association president Derrick Garrett.
“This rivalry is developing between the two teams and we can only expect another closely contested game.”
The results would tend to support such an opinion too, with neither side winning any of the previous four contests by more than four points, illustrated by the teams’ near identical point totals (263 to 261).
Then beyond the squads’ competitiveness, there’s the added drama surrounding Andre Lockhart’s status, as no one knows for certain if the English-based point guard plans to suit up for the decider despite returning home since Monday.
It’s the storyline that has since dominated the headlines of a series which could potentially pit Lockhart and Gill – the country’s two best players – against eacher with nothing short of a league title on the line.
But no one will know for certain whether that all-time matchup comes to pass again, not until tip-off at least.
So 107 games later, and the season all comes down to this. And basketball just couldn’t have asked for a better climax.