National Basketball League semis on today

Observer writer

Saturday, May 26, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — It will be two all-Southern Conference semi-finals in the JABBA National Basketball League (NBL) play-offs after they won all four quarter-finals played last Sunday.

At Montego Bay Cricket Club, Pembroke Hall Warriors beat Western Conference champions Granville Jaguars 80-72 after Urban Knights wore down Central Conference's champions Team Aaah 81-53.

At National Arena, Southern Conference champions St George's Slayers beat Western Conference's MoBay Cricket Club Knights 74-64, while UWI Runnin' Rebels spanked Eastern Conference's Pure Playaz 96-47.

The semi-finals are scheduled for today at National Arena.

An early afternoon shower forced a late start to the games in Montego Bay and also resulted in a slick surface at the Cricket Club courts, but this did not dampen the enthusiasm of players.

Team Aaah started slowly, heated up in the second quarter against Urban Knights, but then ran out of steam late as they lost by 28 points.

Urban Knights, the third-ranked team in the Southern Conference, led 19-8 after the first quarter, but Team Aaah rallied in the second quarter to cut the advantage to three points (31-34).

The Corporate Area team, however, turned up the intensity in the second half where they outscored the Manchester-based team 44-22, with Jerome Thomas getting a double-double 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Cordel Grant scored 14 points.

Astley Marshall had a game-high 18 points for Team Aaah, while his teammate Keeble Wright scored 16 as they combined for 34 of their team's 54 points.

Despite a late run led by a game-high 23 points by Dave Black, Granville Jaguars came up short against Pembroke Hall.

Pembroke Hall led 23-17 after the first quarter and were up 45-34 at half-time and 65-51 going into the fourth quarter, where they were outscored 21-15 by the Western champions.

Damien Young led Warriors with 19 points and Michael Jackson scored 18 points.

Despite 13 points and 10 rebounds from Antonio Spence, Cricket Club Knights came up just short against Slayers, who they outscored by 10 points (18-8) in the final quarter.

Slayers led by a point (23-22) after the first quarter, but increased the margin to seven points (44-37) at half-time, and pushed it into double digits in the third quarter leading 66-45.

Michael Rogers of Slayers led all scorers with 17 points.

Kavan Carbon had a double-double 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Andre McLean scored 18 points as Runnin' Rebels blew Pure Playaz out of the water.

Runnin' Rebels led 22-14, 49-25 and 65-30, respectively at the end of the first three quarters.

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