Basketball Playoffs Tip-Off Sunday
Basseterre, St.Kitts – Nevis
St. Kitts Amateur Basketball Association
August 15, 2012
The 2012 SKABA Premier Division regular season has come to an exciting end, and the final four playoff teams are now set. For the 2nd year in a row the Fig Tree Dirt Revellers came out on top of the regular season with the newcomers Challengers Exodus in 2nd place. Defending Champions Ghaut Bucs ended the regular season in third position while multi time champions Horsford Ghetto Roots copped the 4th place. This means that Figg Tree will play Ghetto Roots and Challengers will play Ghaut Bucs in two playoff series to decide who will face off in the finals.
Noticeably absent from the playoffs is 18 time champions Rams Hitters who failed to make it to the SKABA Premier Division playoffs for the first time in team History. Ghetto Roots has been in the playoffs for the last 5 season straight including their 2009 championship season. Fig Tree also has been no stranger to the Premier Division playoffs having been featured in playoffs in each of the last 3-4 seasons. Exodus is the only team with no Premier division playoff experience. However the certainly have playoff experienced players in Shawn “Shabba” Forbes and Ansel “Bonzy” Revan who were both integral members of the Hitters team over the last years.
Despite struggling throughout the season to maintain even a 6-7 man presence in each game the Ghetto Roots have once again made it to the playoffs. The team started the season in doubt as to whether they would even be able to complete the season on a high note with the absence and exodus of many key players from the team. However the team once again made it to the playoffs despite a much depleted roster. Ghaut Bucs season was not an impressive one coming off a Championship last year. However they ended well winning their last 3 games to earn themselves the 3rd seed in the regular season.
Exodus has been the surprise team for the season. They were just this year promoted to the top division after dominating the “A” division in 2011. Even with the inclusion of All Star Ansell Revan on an already talent packed team observers still felt it would take some times for the newly promoted team to be a significant threat. However they proved the experts wrong and went through the season winning all but two games. Exodus will no doubt be counting on the tremendous playoff experience of Shawn Shabba Forbes who has been playing at the highest level of local basketball for almost 20 years.
Ghust Bucs has made very few changes from their Championship team of 2011. They acquired Jermaine Gumbs from Hitters and a 7 foot import player from Windsor University. They still however struggled throughout the season. But it is fully expected that they will “step up” for their playoff series match-up against Exodus. They key to Ghaut Bucs success will again rest squarely on the shoulders of Tambie Caines the Finals MVP for 2011. As Caines go the team goes. Big Men Dwight “Mac 11″ Jacobs and Kimo Liburd would also have to play a pivotal role in the team’s quest to repeat.
Ghetto Roots although much depleted remains a formidable force in the league. They feature two of the league’s most talented and exciting guards in Levi “By-By” Fyfield and Rymal “Bally” BROWNE. The team also boasts two of the league’s top big men in Troy “Jasbo” Wattley and veteran Kiethley Hicks who has almost 25 years of SKABA basketball experience. The key to Ghetto Roots success would be the depth and strength of their bench. Their starting 5 is undoubtedly top notch but where they have and may continue to falter is their depleted bench which on most nights may have just one or two players. It is unclear whether swingman Berlie Francis and guard Craigie Nero along with Big man Hallie Isles would be returning to add some depth to the Ghetto Roots team.
Figg Tree once again boasts a talented team which features all star and former national guard George Goolay Gaton and forwards Lyle Duggins and Devin “Jigga” Warner. However the key to the Figg Tree success for the season has been the play of their role players. In particular forward Delvin “Spreadout” Rouse who , as the name suggest, takes up a lot of room and is a very difficult player to defend. His fairly consistent play off the bench has been the key to Fig Tree’s success. Fig Tree former college player Kemo Shasta Duncan maybe out for the playoffs after suffering an ankle injury earlier in the year.
The playoffs are wide open with each of the 4 teams having as good a chance as many to make it to the finals and win the 2012 title.
The Playoffs tips off on Sunday with Exodus and Ghaut Bucs in Game 1 and Ghetto Roots and Fig Tree in Game 2.