Blazers within win of third straight title

Samuel O'Garro scored a game-high 31 points.

Sol Blazers overcame a strong challenge from the top-seeded Burger King Warriors to win the first game of the Cayman Islands Basketball Association 2018 National Men’s Division 1 Finals on 15 May.

With defensive pressure the order of the evening at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre, it was not a pretty game early. Neither side was able to maintain a smooth flow to their offensive sets. However, they both continued to attack the paint, although neither defense was keen to allow easy scores in the lane.

Blazers clung to a razor-thin 33-32 lead at the half and neither side could find much of a gap in the third. It was Warriors, sporting a new sponsor on their warm-ups, who led 54-53 with 10:00 to play.

The fourth quarter belonged to the Blazers, outscoring Warriors 25-11 in the period to close out a 78-65 win.

Samuel O’Garro led all scorers with 31 points, including five of 11 from beyond the arc, and six steals. “It was very intense. They came out with a punch this game and we didn’t come out with that punch in the beginning. We had to pick it up in the second half and make some adjustments, but all in all, I think we played a solid game,” the Blazers guard said.

He admitted letting the circumstances of the game get to his head early on before settling down to lead his side to within a win of their third straight crown. “I was frustrated in the beginning because I felt some calls weren’t going my way and I was letting that get to my head. I just kicked the negativity out of my head and remembered that this is just fun and focused on hitting the shots that I make in practice every day,” he told

Joshua Dikua added 11 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and four steals. Shaad O’Garro had 14 points and four assists. Kevin Maxwell had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Deandre Simpson led the Warriors with 19 points and 12 rebounds. This was Warriors first loss of the 2018 campaign, including the regular season and the playoffs and are placed in a must-win scenario going into game two on 22 May.

However, O’Garro is confident Blazers will not be forced to a deciding game three. “Just stay solid, play championship ball,” he said of what his team needs to do. “We’ve been here, we’ve done this, so once we play championship ball, slow it down and run our plays, we’ll be fine.”

Meantime, in the earlier game, Celltronics won the opener of the Division 2 finals beating Charterland 63-51 behind 21 points from Daniel Mowatt. Curtis Wilson had a monster game in the loss, posting 26 points, 22 rebounds and two steals for Charterland.

Game two of that series is also scheduled for 22 May at the ARC.


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