Figtree Is The Team To Beat
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
St. Kitts Amateur Basketball Association
September 18, 2011
The SKABA Final Four is set and former Champions Fig Tree are on top of the heap as they ended the regular season as the “top dawgs” in SKABA and thus the number 1 seeded team heading into the final four playoffs which begins on Sunday 18th at Basketball City.
Joining Fig Tree in the Final Four will be seeds 2 to 4 namely Ghaut Bucs, Horsfords Ghetto Roots and last years Champions Rams Hitters. Ghaut Bucs had an exceptional season and can be easily characterized as the most improved team for the season while Ghetto Roots and Hitters have both maintained their status as 2 of the elite teams in SKABA. Notably absent from this years final four are St.Pauls Tuff Knots and last years finalists the Cotton Ground Rebels. The Tuff Knots seemed well on their way to winning the regular season as the return of their BIG 3 (Javid Williams, Noren and Nasharn Maynard) resulted in the team recording some very impressive blow-out victories over Ghetto Roots, Hitters among others. However the team was expelled from the league after violating SKABA rules when they forfeited 2 games . SKABA rules state that any team that forfeits 2 games shall be automatically expelled from the league. Some may argue that had Tuff Knots not been expelled the final four might have been slightly different as the 4th seeded Hitters may have been out of the loop. The CG Rebels were unable to duplicate their cinderalla season of last year but remain one of the most feared teams in the league.
The Playoffs tips off on Sunday 18th with the Number 1 seeded Fig Tree playing Number 4 seeded Hitters in Game 1 and in Game 2 number 3 seeded Ghetto Roots will be playing number 2 seeded Ghaut Bucs. Both games will be the first games of 2 best of 3 series to determine who will face off in the finals.
President Romel Tobias commented ” I think the decision to take games to the rural areas paid huge dividends for us as we are in the middle of September and despite the many rained out games that had to be re-scheduled sometimes 2 and 3 times over we are able to begin the playoffs in mid-september, something which we have not seen for some time as over the last few years we have seen the finals began as late as the first week in November last year it began in the last week in October and even with rain delays we expect that the entire season will be done before the 3rd week in October .”
Fig Tree will no doubt have to be seen as early favourites to win the playoffs as they have won the regular season and have been playing very well behind recent college graduate Kemo “Shasta” Duncan who has returned to the team after completing his 4 year college basketball scholarship stint in the US. Ghuat Bucs are the surprise team as they ended last season on the brink of being relegated to the “A’ divison. However this year the inclusion of Tamboura” Tamby” CAINES has made them a very formidable team. Ghetto Roots will be without the services of former national players Troy “Jasbo” Wattley and Rymal “Bally” Browne. Jasbo recently left the team to pursue studies overseas while Bally was suspended 5 games and has already served 2 which means he will not be in this first round playoffs.
If Ghetto Roots advances to the finals however Bally will be available. Ghetto Roots will have to rely on Berlie Francis who has been having an exceptional season along with the veteran Kiethley Hicks who despite playing for over 20 plus seasons in the league still remains one of the better big men in SKABA. Hitters are without one of their key players from the last 10 years of their dominance and that is Shawn “Shabba” Forbes who returned to his home team Challengers where he has been successful in bringing that team to a likely Premier Division berth for next season. With Shabba out Hitters will once again have to depend heavily on the much tried and tested shoulders of the legend Trevor “Marty” Huggins who like Kim Collins seems to be aging like good wine. Marty at 45 is still the best shooter in the league and no doubt one of the most potent scorers. Ansel “Bonzy” Revan and Marlon “Jah Love” Powell provides Hitters with a very good back court and they along with marty will have to work overtime for Hitters to repeat.
The final four is wide open and who will advance to the finals is anybody’s guess.