By RENALDO DORSETT
Division leaders in the New Providence Basketball Association maintained their leads with dominant wins Monday night to stake their claim as contenders early in the season.
The newly minted University of the Bahamas remained undefeated in the Vince Ferguson Division while the Commonwealth Bank Giants moved a half game ahead in the John Archer Division.
Justin Smith scored a game high 30 points to lead UB to a 90-52 win over the Double R Services Limited Cleaners and a 5-0 record to start the season.
Smith, the league’s second leading scorer at 28.4 points per game, shot 10-14 from the field and bolstered his lead as the league’s top three-point shooter, making 7-10 from beyond the arch.
He also added three rebounds and three assists.
Ramon Dames finished with a double double - 18 points and 13 assists. The league assist leader, he now averages eight per game.
Kemsey Sylvestre finished with another double double - 14 points and 14 rebounds - Rashad Sturrup added six points and 11 rebounds, while Davon Adderley and Franklyn McKenzie each scored seven.
Romell Johnson led the Cleaners with 11 points and Rashad Woodside added eight.
The Cleaners had no answer for UB’s hot shooting, 52 per cent from the field and 50 per cent from three. UB also outrebounded the Cleaners 50-26, outscored them in the paint 40-28 and had eight more assists.
The Cleaners offensive struggles featured 33 per cent shooting from the field, 20 per cent from three and just 28 per cent at the free throw line.
In a wire-to-wire win, UB began the game on a 9-2 run and took a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter on a Smith three to make it 24-14. They outscored the Cleaners by eight in the second quarter and took a 43-25 lead into the half.
The lead reached over 20 for the first time when Dames made a runner with 5:53 left in the third quarter to give UB a 53-32 lead. They took a 67-40 lead into the fourth and the lead eventually grew to the final margin of 38.
The Cleaners fell to 1-4.
The Giants improved to 6-1 with a 94-72 win over the Island Game Pros.
National team member Tehran Cox led four Giants in double figures with 26 points and five rebounds. Cox was on fire from deep and shot 8-12 from three point range.
Jeffrey Henfield had 14 points, six rebounds and five assists while Quentin Demeritte and Michael Bain Jr each finished with 12 points.
Gibran Smith nearly got a triple double with nine points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and Trent Cox finished with nine points and 15 rebounds.
Patrick Leadon led the Pros with 22 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, Derrick Ferguson scored 17 and Elkino Issacs scored 11.
Cox started his hot shooting early and made a three on the opening possession for the Giants. They opened the game on a 10-2 run and his Cox’s second three made the score 18-9 at the 4:44 mark. Smith’s jumper gave the Giants an early 10 point lead and the dominated the first en route to a 27-12 lead.
Henfield would score nine of his 12 in the second and the lead grew to as much as 17 at one point in the period. The Giants took a 45-30 lead into the half and took a 23 point lead on a late Bain free throw to make the score 70-47. Ferguson made a three for the Pros on their final possession of the quarter but they trailed 70-50 headed into the fourth. The Pros would never get within 18 in the fourth and fell to 1-4 on the year.
The Giants (6-1) currently maintain a slight edge over the Mr. Ship It Freight Regulators (5-1) and PJ Stingers (4-1) in the John Archer division. The Pirates (2-5), Cleaners and Rhythm Rebels (0-6) round out the bottom half of the division.
The Shockers (5-2) lead the Vince Ferguson Division, followed by UB and the Mailboat Cybots (3-4), Rockets (2-4), Pros and Legends (1-3).
League play continues tonight at the AF Adderley Gymnasium with the Triple K Stampers taking on the Johnson Trucking Panchos at 7pm followed by the Cybots and the Rebels at 8:30pm.