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  • Writer's pictureJohn Goncalves

TOP TWO SEEDS OUT OF BUCHANAN FINAL

Updated: Apr 20




Europa Valmar and Lincoln Bayside, first and second in the Richie Buchanan Trophy first phase standings, were knocked out in the semi finals, played to best of three matches, by Bavaria Blue Stars and RCA Bricklayers respectively, ranked fourth and third. Both semi finals went the distance.

Bavaria Blue Stars, spearheaded by Chico Ortiz, were in control throughout the first two periods of the first semi final, winning these by 21-16, 33-15 to establish what appeared to be a comfortable 54-31 half-time lead, but Europa Valmar hit back in the second-half, taking the third period 19-11. This still gave BBS a 65-50 advantage with 10 minutes to play, which increased to 69-50 in the first 2 minutes of the last period, but then their scoring completely dried up for most of what was left in the match. EV hit 18 straight points to get to within 1 point (69-68) with BBS with only 4 players on court and under 1 minute to play. BBS finally broke their points’ drought with 1 point from the free-shot line, but EV went one better, converting 2 to tie the score (70-70). With overtime looming, 17 year old Theo Dalmedo earned his place in Bavaria Blue Stars’s legend, sinking a big 3-pointer to win the match 73-70.

Ortiz led the scoring with 31, Alvaro Guzman got 12, Angel Guerrero 11 and Thomas Yome 10, for BBS, and Pablo Postigo 16, Javi Guerra 14, Jerome Routhier 14, Marius Grigaitis 12 and Louis Dalmedo 10, for EV.

The second match, played two days later, was completely different to the first. EV set the pace from the tip-off and were never behind, taking the periods 27-16, 25-11, 22-18, 26-9 for a huge 100-54 win.

Guerra hit a match-high 33, with team-mates Mo El Yettefti getting 25, Grigaitis 16 and Postigo 14, for EV, while Ortiz 22 and Yome 18 led BBS.

And so to the decider, a week after EV’s crushing win, which made them favourites. This seemed to be the correct assumption as they cruised to a 10-2 lead in the first 5 minutes of the match, but BBS, with just 5 players available on the day - EV were not much better off, with only 6 - recovered to end the first period 16-20 down. A hard-fought second period went to BBS by 18-16, and they then took the third by 20-14, which turned out to be the decisive point in a a superb defensive effort. EV hit back with a 6-0 start to the last period to regain the lead. Excitement grew as the lead changed hands on five more occasions as neither team managed to go more than 1 point up before Ortiz sank a 3-pointer, seconds from the end, to give BBS the 68-64 win which takes them to the final.

This was his 35th point of the match and 88th of the semi-final series (average 29.33 per match), with team-mates Guerrero and Guzman scoring 11 each. El Yettefti 22, Postigo 18 and Dalmedo 12 led EV.

The second semi-final had a similar pattern. RCA Bricklayers started the first match at a blistering pace, going 18-5 up with just over a minute to play in the first period, which ended 20-11, as Lincoln Bayside staged a determined revival which was to win them the second period by 18-11. LB started the second half 29-31 behind but, although levelling the scores three times, including at the end of the period (51-51), never managed to go ahead, as RCA resisted. This was pretty much the same situation as the clock ran down the final 10 minutes. LB finally managed to go ahead (58-57) with 6 minutes to play, but this was short-lived and, in fact, spurred RCA into a match-winning finish, in which they outscored a faltering LB by 14-6 for a final 71-64 result.

Callum Culross led the match with 23 points, Roydon Reyes got 14, Ching Chan Thong 11, and Aaron Santos 11, for RCA, with Jamie Mesilio 17, George Alexe 14, Kaylan Balloqui 13 and Adrian Mateos 11, for LB.

RCA ended the first period of the second match well to establish a 17-9 lead, but LB had the better of the second period, which they won by 20-14, to just be 29-31 down at the break. A 15-2 blitz in 5 minutes, midway through the third period, led by Jamie Mesilio, turned the match in LB’s favour, putting them 51-38 ahead. RCA fought back from 45-57 at the start of the second period to 58-63 four minutes from the end, but LB finished the stronger to win by 72-62 and tie the series.

Michael Rodriguez hit a match-high 25 points and Mesilio got 22, for LB, with Santos 23 and Thong 17 best for RCA.

The decider was as thrilling and hard-fought as the other decider, being played simultaneously on the adjoining court. Initially, it looked like LB were going to have an easy ride as RCA made little impression throughout the first period, but this changed in the second period. Evenly contested, with LB just edging it 17-16, it set a marker for an RCA fight back in the third, well marshalled by Roydon Reyes, culminating in a 26-14 success in the period which gave them a slender 55-54 lead to start the decisive final period. As in the other semi final, on the other side of the curtain, there were six lead changes throughout a hard-fought period, which showed a 68-68 result on the scoreboard with 3 minutes left, before RCA hit a final 8-3 burst to win  by 76-71 and a place in the final.

Reyes led the match on 20 points, with Thong getting 17, Santos 13, Ian Yeats 11 and Nicky Lopez 11, for RCA, with Mesilio 19, Mateos 18, Rodriguez 13 and Balloqui 13, for LB.

The final, also played to the best of 3 matches, starts on Monday (tip-off 7:30 pm), with the second match on Wednesday (tip-off 8:15 pm) and the third match, if necessary, on Friday (tip-off 9:15 pm).


ALL HERCULES PLATE FINAL DECIDED IN DOUBLE OVERTIME

This season, for the first time, the teams which did not make the semi finals of the Richie Buchanan Trophy played a Plate Competition.

In the semi finals, Hercules Reserves (Jose Berbel 25, Jairo Ledesma 18, Angel Chozas 15, Juanma Cabrita 11) beat GibYellow Beasts (Romain Molina 22, Gareth Balban 16) by 89-63; and Hercules FC (Joel Aparissi 23, Ivan Castano 19, Pablo Jimenez 11) beat Bavaria Blue Stars Giants (Nathan Vaughan 18) by 59-44.

The Reserves raced to a 12-0 lead by the 7th minute of the final and led 18-4 at the end of the period, but HFC hit back with a 15-0 blitz in 7 minutes of the second period to go 19-18 up. Reserves finished the half with an 8-2 burst to lead 26-22 at the break.

HFC edged the second-half periods 12-10 and 11-9 to tie the match 45-45 and take it to overtime. Nothing was decided after a low-scoring first period, and with 49-49 on the scoreboard, the match went into a second period, which finally produced the narrowest of wins (58-57) for Hercules Reserves.

Alberto Vazquez 16, Chozas 11 and Cabrita 10 led the winners, with Naim Gharbaoui 16, Jimenez 16 and Castano 13 best for the losers.


BAVARIA BLUE STARS FAVOURITES IN WOMEN’S LEAGUE

Two wins for Bavaria Blue Stars puts them in the lead and firm favourites to win this season’s Women’s League.

Arianne Garro 22, Anabella De la Chica 13, Isabelle Dalmedo 13, Rihanna King 10 led them to a 64-47 win over Europa Valmar, led by Caitlin Arnold 28 and Courtney Ferrer 10.

BBS, led by Garro 20 and Dalmedo 15, then registered a crucial 50-44 win over Lincoln Bayside, led by Annika Perez 14, Valerie Doherty 11 and Emma Mosquera 10.

GREAT WINS FOR DELOITTE DRAGONS AND BAVARIA BLUE STARS JUNIORS

Deloitte Dragons inflicted a first defeat of the season on U18 League leaders Europa Valmar by 68-66, after a thrilling and hard-fought contest. Quentin McGlashan hit a match-high 35 points and was ably aided and abetted by team mate David Connor on 21, for DD, while Enrique Navarro 21, Pablo Postigo 19 and Marco O’Connor 17 led EV.

Nearest title challengers, Lincoln Bayside (Danny Cassaglia 18, Nico Perez 16, James Santos 12) failed to take advantage, themselves going down to Bavaria Blue Stars (Jonathan Teuma 28, Nathan Vaughan 23, Theo Dalmedo 12) by 75-65.


BAVARIA BLUE STARS BLUE NEED ONE WIN

Bavaria Blue Stars won three matches in 10 days before the Easter break to take their ranking to 6-0 in the u17 Women’s League table and just need to win one of their last 3 matches to be crowned Champions.

The first of their 3 wins was against Europa Valmar (Rania Sayah 11), with Nicola Barbara 21, Isabelle Dalmedo 10, Brylee Costa 10, their top scorers in a 58-19 result.

Their second win was the most important, in terms of League standings, as they downed closest rivals Lincoln Bayside (Maria Benito 14) by a narrow 45-43, with Phoebe Reyes 15 and Barbara 10 their top scorers.

King 14, Barbara 12 and Reyes 12 then led BBSB to a crushing 58-25 win over LB, which practically leaves the title decided.

Before these two matches, LB (Benito 13, Elsa Parody 12, Lucia Hernandez 10) had beaten Bavaria Blue Stars Pink by 61-18; and after, EV (Sayah 18) beat BBSP (Tasmin Hamdan 12) by 41-24.


ALL TO PLAY FOR IN U16 LEAGUE

Europa Valmar are the unbeaten leaders in the U16 League but Lincoln Bayside are in close pursuit, having lost the first round match between the two by just 4 points, and due to play each other in the last two matches of the competition, not to mention that both Bavaria Blue Stars and Deloitte Dragons have proved capable of causing upsets.

In the latest matches, BBS (Callum Lightbody 13, Javi Andrews 12) beat DD (Javier Felice 10) 46-35; EV (Enrique Navarro 24, Marco O’Connor 17) beat BBS (Andrews 13, Oliver Lines 10) 45-37; and LB (Kingsley Sylvester 30, Evan Lima 15) beat  DD (Tom Appleton 14) 54-49.


DAMEX GATORS CLINCH U14 BOYS LEAGUE

The two latest wins for all conquering Damex Gators have won them the u14 Boys League.

Jack Cassaglia 21 and Youssef Laghrich 10 led DG to a 57-27 win over Bavaria Blue Stars Blue (Oliver Lines 11, Kamran Sassani 10); then, Cassaglia 27 and Juliusz Wojniak 15 led DG to a 71-40 win over Lincoln Bayside (Evan Pilcher 11, Evan Cocklan 10).

The other teams in this competition enjoyed very narrow wins: Europa Valmar (James McCarthy 16, Ralph Falero Manktelow 13, Jamie Attias 10) edged Bavaria Blue Stars Pink (Ben Lejeune 25, Joey Passano 10) by 51-50; and BBSB (Sassani 30, Lines 20) beat BBSP (Lejeune 24, Jack Balban 13) by 56-54.


BAVARIA BLUE STARS AND DAMEX GATORS LEAD U14 GIRLS LEAGUE

Bavaria Blue Stars (Beau Reyes 14, Brylee Costa 14) easily beat Damex Gators by 44-16 to draw level at the head of the u14 Girls League table. In their first round match, DG had won by 46-43, but since then the latter’s leading player, Daniella Martinez, has suffered an ankle fracture which, inevitably, has considerably weakened the team and its chances of contesting the title. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

In another match, Briella Bagu 19 led Europa Valmar to a 33-17 win over Lincoln Bayside.


LINCOLN BAYSIDE WELL PLACED IN U12 LEAGUE

Lincoln Bayside (Harry Breeze 22, Ella Savignon 16) beat Bavaria Blue Stars (Lily Mauro 16) by 46-36 and are unbeaten leaders and hot favourites to win this mixed competition.


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