Giants avoid being eliminated


Senior Sports Reporter


JEREMY Hutchinson and Gamaliel Rose provided a 1-2 punch as the twin towers helped the Commonwealth Bank Giants stave off elimination against the defending champions Mail Boat Cybots on Saturday night.

Down 3-0 against the Cybots in the New Providence Basketball Association’s best-of-seven championship series, the short-handed Giants, who only had seven players in uniform, avoided being swept with a 95-90 victory at the AF Adderley Gymnasium.

One night after they got nipped by Mail Boat 90-89 in game three on Friday, Commonwealth Bank debited a combined 47 points from Hutchinson and Rose in their account to prolong the series to game five tonight at 8pm.

“The guys came and were hungry for this. So we had to win this one,” Rose said. “We didn’t want to go home like this. We came out and played defence. Our main focus was on Eugene Bain and Mitch Bain, so we had to play defence on those guys and make sure they didn’t get any baskets that could hurt us.”

While Hutchinson proved unstoppable on the inside, Hutchinson pumped in a game high 29 points, 8-for-16 from the field and 13-of-16 from the free throw line, to go along with his 13 rebounds.

Rose contributed 19 points, 14 rebounds, five block shots, two assists and two steals.

The Giants, coached by the father/son tandem of Perry Thompson Sr and Jr, also got 18 points, nine rebounds and three assists from Mark Hanna, who beefed up their front court along side Hutchinson and Rose. Guards Jackson Jacob and Adrian Miller added 12 and 10 respectively with Miller dishing out eight assists and pulling down four rebounds.

For the Cybots, David Taylor just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Eugene Bain had 24 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals and Mitchel Bain added 10 points. “They were up by 20 and we cut the lead down to about four, but it wasn’t enough,” Taylor said. “If we had more time left, I feel we would have been able to come back and pull it off. But we will be ready for Monday.”

As they prepare for game five tonight, Rose said once the Giants can come back with the same level of intensity and play harder than the Cybots, they can look forward to playing a sixth game on Wednesday night.

It’s a tall order, but Taylor said they just have to concentrate on their defence and find a way to stop Rose in the paint. There was some concern early in the game when Eugene Bain fell to the side of the wall under the basket on an offensive play two minutes into the first quarter. He tumbled on the ground, groaning in pain as he held his head and had to be assisted off the court.

At that point, the Cybots were leading 5-0. Two minutes later, he returned with the Cybots leading 7-5. The lead see-sawed for the rest of the period, but one of the highlights came from Rose when he got an offensive rebound for a two-handed slam dunk for a 17-17 tie with just 1:26 left in the period.

Tied again at 19-19, Rose drove inside for a lay-up for a 21-19 lead with 1.4 on the clock as they held on at the initial break.

In the second quarter, the Giants managed to open as much as a seven-point lead, but that was short lived as Cruz Simon canned a three-pointer and Mitchel Bain added three free throws for a 39-37 deficit for the Cybots with 2:57 left.

A three-point play from Hutchinson, an Adrian Miller three-pointer and a lay-up from Jackson pushed the Giants back out front 47-40 with 1:31 before the half-time break. Then in the final 10 seconds, the Cybots got hit with two technical fouls as the Giants converted on their free throws for a 58-42 margin at the half.

Midway in the third quarter, the Giants went on another offensive tear as they extended their lead to 10 (66-56). But before they knew what happened, the Cybots found themselves trailing by 20 (85-65) at the end of the final break.

It was a different story in the fourth quarter as the Cybots went to a full court press and managed to work their way back into the contest. Their first run trimmed the Giants’ lead to 89-74, sparked by consecutive lay-ups from Jermaine Storr and Taylor.

One of the biggest plays of the game came with 2:31 left on the clock when Rose soared to block an attempted shot by Eugene Bain.

The duo were the focal point for their teams down the stretch as Bain responded with a three-point play for a 93-84 Mail Boat deficit at 1:57. On the next play, Rose got a lay-up that kept Commonwealth Bank out front 95-84.

Cybots 90, Giants 89

The Mail Boat moved into the driver’s seat in game three on Friday night as Eugene Bain exploded for 30 points, shooting 13-of-26 from the field and 4-of-7 from the foul line. He also had 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Ernest Saunders had 13 points, eight steals and seven assists, Jermaine Storr 12 points and seven rebounds, David Taylor 11 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals and Roosevelt Whylly 10 points and 14 rebounds.

In a losing effort as they had their backs pinned against the wall on the brink of elimination, Hutchinon had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Gamaliel Rose 18 points and 11 rebounds, Jackson Jacob 17 points and Adrian Miller 14 points and five rebounds.


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