By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
WITH the New Year now in full swing, the New Providence Basketball Association is looking forward to returning to action tonight at the AF Adderley Gymnasium as they commence their second half of the 2017/18 season.
League president Eugene Horton said after an exciting first half that concluded just before they took a break for the Christmas holiday, they had some keenly contested games in both the men division one and II play and they are hoping that it will intensify.
“So far the league has been very competitive, especially the division II,” Horton said. “In Division one, we lost the Mail Boat Cybots and the Double R Cleaners, so we moved one of the division II teams up.
“The players moved around to the various teams so that has made the league a little more competitive. When we get into the second half, we expect it to get more competitive as teams will be looking to make the playoffs.”
Horton’s only wish is that they can get more fans to come out and watch the games, which are played nightly on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, starting at 7pm.
“It seems that the teams don’t have the following as they had in the past,” he said. “Hopefully this second half as we get ready for the playoffs, it will pick up. As an executive team, we will continue to provide some incentives to encourage more people to come out.”
Not only are the teams competing to get into the playoffs and to win the championship title, but as the champions, they will go on to represent the NPBA at the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s National Round Robin Tournament that will be played from April 26-28 in Grand Bahama.
The NPBA will as usual, will take a break for the prestigious Hugh Campbell Basketball Classic and the second round of the FIBA World Cup Qualifier when the Bahamas hosts Canada and the Dominican Republic over the week of February 19-26.
“When we come back from that break, we will be getting into the playoffs,” Horton revealed.
There are ten teams in division one and so the last place teams in both the John Archer and Vince Ferguson Divisions will be eliminated.
Going into the second half, the Commonwealth Bank Giants are currently undefeated at 4-0 and they are followed by the PJ Stingers, who are 5-1. The Caro Construction Pirates are 2-2 with the Rhythm Rebels at 1-4 and the Vitamalt Chargers winless at 0-6.
In the Vince Ferguson Division, the JD’s Seafood Shockers are leading the way at 5-1. The Rockets are next at 4-1 with the Regulators 3-3, the University of the Bahamas Mingoes, who are on a two-game winning streak on their trip to Florida, are 1-2 and the Island Game Pros are at the bottom at 1-5.
With only seven left in division II after the Johnson’s Truckers pulled out, the top teams in the Godfrey McQuay and Charles ‘Chuck’ Mackey divisions will get a bye and the remaining teams will play in the first round of the playoffs.
The Breezes High Flyers and the Caro Construction Resistance are both soaring with perfect 4-0 and 2-0 records respectively in the Godfrey McQuay division. The Triple K Stampers are next at 2-2 and the Elite Basketball Club is 1-4.
The Aliv Buckets are out front at 3-1 in the Charles Mackey Division. The Rockets are 1-2 and the Eagles Nest is winless at 0-3. The Johnson Trucking, who is 0-3, has dropped out.
Statistically, Livingstone Munnings, Miguel Mackey and Eugene Bain stand out in two or more individual categories in the division one play.
Munnings, a forward/centre for the Rockets, leads the points per game with 26, average total rebounds with 17, average defensive rebounds with 10.5 and average offensive rebounds with 6.5 per game.
Mackey, the guard for the Regulators, has an average of 10 assists and 5 steals per game and Bain, a forward/centre for the Rockets, has made 46 field goals and 41 two-points made.
Scottie Farrington of the Pirates has an average fouls on of 8.5 per game and his team-mate Craig Smith Jr is tied with Gameliel Rose of the Giants and Kemsy Sylvestre of the Mingoes with four personal fouls per game.
Salathiel Dean of the Stingers has an average of 2.33 blocks per game, Justin Ferguson of the Pros is shooting 100 per cent from the field goal percentage and Bain Bain of the Rebels has connected on 17 three-pointers.
Cordero Thompson of the Regulators is also hitting 100 per cent in three-point percentage as is Timothy Grant of the Mingoes in his two-point percentage. William Rigby of the Shockers has completed 34 free throws, Vincent Burke of the Chargers is playing a full 40 minutes per game and there are seven players, including Jeffrey Henfield of the Giants, team-mates Justin Ferguson and Lance Rolle of the Pros and both Marcellus Mortimer and Garvin Scavella of the Stingers, are perfect at 100 per cent in free throw shooting.
Johnley Noel of the Stampers has inked on top of a number of categories in division II, including average points with 25.75 per game, average total rebounds with 15.5, average defensive rebounds with 7.25 average offensive rebounds with 8.25, field goals made with 37 and two points made with 37.
Breezes’ Jeremy Neely has an average of 5.25 assists per game, Dylan Musgrove of the Buckets is averaging three blocks and Delmar Hamilton of Johnson’s, Dario McKenzie of Elites and Shanton Pratt of Breezes all have an average of three steals.
Burton Oliver Jr of Elites, Adrian Thompson and Mark Johnson, both of Johnson’s, are tied with five average personal fouls, Bertrum Minns of the Rockets and Christoff Stuart of Johnson’s both have eight average fouls on and Stuart was averaging 36.61 minutes per game.
Austin Major of the Stampers, Carlos Forbes of the Rockets, Tyrone Blyden of Johnson’s and both Lorenzo Archer and Yori Charlton of the Resistance are 100 per cent in field goal percentage, Jeremy Neely of Breezes has made eight three-pointers; his team-mate Dwight Moss and Eagles’ duo Troy Tremley and Uriah Rolle are all 100 per cent from 3-point percentage.
Martin Conliff of Elites has made 27 free throws, six players, including Cordero Coakley and Tyrone Blyden of Johnson’s, Lorenzo Archer and Yori Charlton of the Resistance and Austin Major are 100 per cent from the two-point percentage and in the free throw percentage, Rashad Edgecombe and Tyrell Griffin of Johnson’s, Ahmad Clarke of Eagles’ and Eddie Elliott of Elites are all shooting 100 per cent.