Union Island  outduel Bequia to take Grenadines Basketball title
November 29, 2013
Union Island outduel Bequia to take Grenadines Basketball title

Union Island All Stars dug deep in extra time to outlast Bequia to take the Digicel Grenadines Basketball title last Saturday night at the Clive Tannis hard court in Bequia.{{more}}

Like the pristine waters of the islands, the championship match ebbed and flowed, but both teams provided some periods of turbulence on the court.

But it was the last seconds which created the waves of excitement and tension.

With 8.2 seconds to go, Bequia was up 47-45 and with the vocal crowd behind them, the title was almost destined to stay ashore on the island.

Union Island was, at that point, summoned to the free throw line, but missed both, but recovered to hit a two-point shot as the Bequia defence fell asleep momentarily.

The equalizer sent the match into overtime, which benefited the Union Islanders who romped to a 59-54 close out of the final, to leave a hyped home team and their supporters mum in disappointment.

From the tip-off, it was evident that it would have been a tension filled night as the opening minutes reeled off some robust play.

With both teams having a score to settle, Union Island took the ascendancy 17-11 at the end of quarter number one, but Bequia resurged to end the halfway mark at 27-23 in their favour.

Union Island took a slender one point lead 36-35 at the end of the third quarter, to set up the platform to the nervy finish in regulation time.

On the night, Kevin Joseph led the scoring for Union Island with 17 points, while rookie Orlando Blugh of Bequia contributed 12.

Coach of the Union Island All Stars Abdon Whyte was indeed happy in his debut outing with the team.

“… It feels good…We had a short time to prepare, but the guys came together and worked hard”, Whyte told SEARCHLIGHT.

He praised the Bequia outfit for pushing his team to the limit.

Whyte, buoyed by the win, revealed that a move is on to have the sport get back to the heights once attained during the 1980’s.

“There is a move to get a programme going, as there is a lot of players who are coming out of the school system and we need to continue with them,” Whyte noted.

The two finalists met each other twice during the preliminary round.

On the opening weekend in Union Island, Bequia recorded a narrow 50-49 win. But, when they met on neutral ground on Canouan the following weekend, Union Island All Stars outdid Bequia 68-56.

On Friday night, at the same venue, both teams marched on to last Saturday’s final with victories over their opponents.

Union Island punished Mustique Icon 112-51 and Bequia surpassed Canouan Islanders, 58-40.

Canouan Islanders went on to take the third place play off over Mustique Icon, 80-63, in a match-up which preceded the final.

The closing ceremony was addressed by president of the Bequia Basketball Association Sabrina Mitchell, as well as parliamentary representatives of the Northern Grenadines and Southern Grenadines, Lorraine Friday and Terrance Ollivierre, respectively.

Colson Peters spoke on behalf of sponsors Digicel.

Mitchell confirmed that the 2014 edition is expected to be contested in May, with Mayreau and Carriacou joining the fray.(RT)