Sav Elite Titans and the rampaging Falmouth Saints each hold 1-0 leads after the opening games in the Western Basketball Association (WBA) Elite League playoffs played at the Montego Bay Cricket Club.
Titans and Saints snatched 1-0 leads thanks to impressive wins in the double header which started 40 minutes later than scheduled.
Saints, with a ruthless showing, pulled off the first big win of the evening, charging past the defending champions Catherine Hall All Stars, 76-55, in a dominant display from start to finish.
It was a close match in the early stages with both teams trading scores, but it was Saints who pressed slightly ahead at the halfway stage 30-28, although All Stars won the second quarter 18-15.
However, Saints, playing their usual fast game and capitalizing off swift fast breaks, opened up a massive 29-16 third quarter score, restoring their stroll to victory, and completed the canter with a final quarter 17-11 scoreline as the All Stars faded.
Nicholai Brown, who delighted the crowd with his acrobatics and also stuffed home a dunk which sent a buzz through the fans, top-scored with 21 points and 13 rebounds for the winning Saints, while Michael Johnson added 21 and grabbed 8 rebounds.
For the All Stars, Dwayne Johns, who missed the opening quarter, led the scoring with 17 points, one more than Craig Dorman who tallied 16.
The big man down low in the paint for the All Stars, Kurt Dorman, ended with 12 points.
In the evening’s other affair, Sav Titans recovered from a very sluggish start to outgun Warriors by a narrow one-point margin, 66-65.
Titans trailed by seven at the close of the opening quarter (16-23), but then followed it up with a sensational scoring of their own, and some tight defensive displays along with lax shooting by the Warriors team, which went scoreless for more than five minutes.
Titans, in sharp-shooting form and allowing nothing in their third, restricted the Warriors to just 8 points in the second quarter and went into the halftime break, up 39-31.
Warriors went on a charge at the start of the second half sinking 15 points to their opponent’s 10, as they closed to within three of Titans going into the fourth and final quarter.
However, the eventual winners survived the onslaught and held on for the points, though outscored 19-17.
Warriors, led by National player Levar Rose and packed with a wealth of youth stars and former All-Island champions, pushed all the way in the closing stages, but just could not clinch the winner against a determined Titans, going on to take the 1-0 advantage.
Shelmar Bromfield, with a gam-high 26 points and Dylon Hodges, 15 and 11 rebounds, led the scoring charge for the winners Titans.
Tafari Vassell with 17 points and Rose with 16 scored most points for the Warriors.