Spartan, Heats seek advantage in battle for Howard McCatty Community Basketball title


Spartan, Heats seek advantage in battle for Howard McCatty Community Basketball title

Observer writer

Saturday, August 17, 2019

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Spanish Town Spartans and EXED Heats will be hoping to grab an early advantage when they meet in game one of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF)/National Integrity Action (NIA) Howard McCatty Community Basketball Championships today.

Both booked spots in the finals after registering 2-1 wins in their respective best-of-three semi-final encounters, and should again acquit themselves well in what is expected to be a cracking opener in the showpiece at Peace Park Court in Grants Pen.

Game time is 7:00 pm.

Spartans, a two-time champion, will start favourites following an 86-63 romp of defending champions Majesty Gardens in the decisive semi-final contest in Spanish Town recently, and will be riding high on that momentum to better first-time finalist EXED Heats, who were 72-63 victors over Rae Town Raptors in their deciding encounter.

Rohan Robinson, coach of Heats, expressed delight that his side has made it one step further, having failed to clear the semi-final hurdle last year.While anticipating a tough contest against the Spartans, Robinson is optimistic that their fast-attacking breaks will get them over the line against their more aggressive opponent.

“I know it's going to be a very tough game and would like to take the early lead against the Spartans. Our chances are good, but the Spartans are expected to produce a power game, as they are very big and also have a lot of experienced players in their line-up,” Robinson noted.

Robinson is banking his leading shooters, Anthony White, Fabian Sutherland, Tommy McDonald, and Cordell Grant to make the most of their chances, while hoping for additional support from off the bench.

His counterpart, Nicoya Francis, is quietly confident that his Spartans team can secure title number three.

“Heats is a team that has a number of experienced players, so we expect it to be a very tough encounter. Despite this being the first time both teams are meeting for the season, Heats are very familiar with our style of playing, but once the players keep their heads and play to instructions they are likely to win, which means a lot rests on the main shooters to deliver the baskets and points,” said Francis.

Damion Johnson, Swayveon Henry, Duwayne Rose, and Rameash Brown are expected to lead from the front for the Spartans.

Meanwhile, Allie McNab, special advisor to the Minister of Sport Olivia Grange, brought greetings on her behalf at a press briefing at NIA office on Thursday, while Trevor Munroe, executive director of the NIA, shared encouraging words with the teams.

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