By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
THE Bahamas Basketball Federation’s Summer of Thunder got off to an exciting start last weekend with a thrilling finish in the series opener and the first win by a local team in the series.
The series began as the Temple Owls escaped with a 98-96 win over the BBF national champions Commonwealth Bank Giants at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium. It was the first win for new Owls head coach Aaron Mckie.
“It was a great experience. Our guys responded and we pretty much played at a breakneck pace. Getting up and down the floor and trying to play an exciting brand of basketball. We have some things we have to clean up. We certainly have to work on our rebounding and our transition defence.”
The Giants’ D’Shon Taylor led all scorers with 39 points while Jackson Jacob also added 20 points.
In a game that featured 17 ties and 23 lead changes, the Giants led 90-81 with just under six minutes left to play before the Owls went on a 16-3 run to take the lead for good.
In game two, Furman scored a 94-69 win over IBA Elite. Livingston Bromwell led IBA with 27 points and nine rebounds.
On day two, Furman got their second win in as many days with a 91-80 win over Raw Talent Elite. Corey Sands led Raw Talent with 17 points.
After coming up short in game one, the Giants rebounded in game two with a 79-65 win over McNeese State University.
Taylor finished with a team high 22 points and nine rebounds while Mark St Fort finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
The Giants led nearly wire-to-wire and took a 12-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. They led 37-24 at the half and 57-41 headed into the fourth. McNeese followed with a 98-78 win over Raw Talent.
This year’s list of visiting teams include the Georgetown Hoyas, Furman University Paladins, McNeese State University Cowboys, University of Tennessee Chattanooga Mocs, University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens, Duquesne University Dukes, Murray State University Racers, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Maryville University Saints, the York University Lions women’s basketball teams, the University of Kaduna (Nigeria). Other teams will include the Nigeria Men’s National teams A and B teams, Mega Bemax (Serbia).
They will take on some local teams that include the Commonwealth Bank Giants, IBA Elite, which is made up of some of the best division II players from the New Providence Basketball Association, Raw Talent Elite, Abaco Elite (which will make their debut as a Family Island gets to participate for the first time), Bahamas Select, and the Bahamas senior men’s national team.
The series runs through August 26 at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.