March 24, 2005

‘Basketbrawl’ at Montrose

It’s almost impossible to divorce controversy from local sporting events.

And last Saturday evening, basketball received its second technical in only four months, during the Women’s final at the New Montrose Hard Court. {{more}}

After the males had given an unforgivable display at their closing ceremony last November, the females unleashed several three pointers in indiscipline at Saturday’s event.

The highly charged final between Xpert Computer Bustas and Trotman’s Electronic Celebrities came close to ending in a brawl, following an alleged “error” by referee Vincent Skerritt.

A controversial out-of-court call by Skerritt sparked off disgust from some members of the Celebrities team and their supporters.

With the match delicately poised in the dying stages at 57-55 in favour of Bustas, Celebrities felt peeved at the call. The melee which followed resembled scenes of a village “cuss out” as some of the offended players and supporters took time out to sink some verbal free throws at the table officials and the referees.

Coloured with expletives, the court action made a Rated R movie look like a Bible story.

However, good sense prevailed, and the threats of physical action abated.

Celebrities’ coach, the former national basketballer and administrator, Darwin Vanloo, said that he intended to appeal the result of the match.

Saturday’s third final became necessary after Celebrities stormed back in game two, two weeks ago, downing Bustas 48-39.

Bustas had only a few days before registered a 63-55 triumph in Game One. With Bustas playing unbeaten since 1999, and winning all titles, Celebrities scratched their record in the preliminary round.

Sporting six of this country’s current national netballers, Bustas fancied their chances after the hiccup in Game Two, when many of their key players did not show up .

Many of the spectators wished for Bustas’ undoing in Game Three and threw their support in Celebrities corner.

The ugly display at the end, cancelled out the efforts of the players before, when the crowd was treated to some good basketball from the country’s top players.

Shanna Browne, with 24 points, threatened to give Celebrities their first hold on the women’s title, but a total team effort by Bustas kept them ahead. The score remained at 57-55 at the final buzzer.

Saskia Diamond drilled in 13 points for the eventual winners with Leanna Lewis 11, to follow up her 24, in Game Two.

A presentation ceremony to formally crown Bustas seventh champinship win will be announced soon.