La Romaine, Maloney to battle in $1.5m Hoop of Life final
The winners of the 2013 Hoop of Life Community Basketball League championship will be crowned later this week with the final set to be contested between La Romaine and Maloney, at a venue and date yet to be determined.
Despite losing to Laventille Utd by 18 points, a final score of 87-69, at the St Barb’s Basketball court on Saturday night, Maloney still advanced to the grand finale. Laventille needed to prevail by a margin of at least 29 points over Maloney, following last Wednesday’s Game One loss to Moloney on the East team’s homecourt (89-61).
In last year’s quarter-final elimination stage, Maloney were booted out of the competition when they lost to arch-rivals Laventille by 33 points, while only having to avoid defeat by 30. However, Maloney kept within the margin of defeat necessary to ensure their advancement to the final this time, despite Laventille putting on an entertaining display before their homefans.
Laventille, who carried off the $1 million first prize in the inaugural tournament last year, were hindered with the expulsion of their leading-shooting guard Kurt Christian and centre Ashton DuMurrell, both of whom fouled-out. Laventille will now do battle with Caledonia in the third-place play-off.
Maloney—the only team in the competition to have defeated Laventille twice this year, and three times inclusive of last season—were led in their offence by Shawn Lawrence, who netted 22 points in Game One and 20 on Saturday night.
In the other semi-final match-up, La Romaine were able to overcome their 10-point loss to Caledonia in Game One (89-79) with a 25-point blowout (110-85) of the Morvant-based unit in Game Two, on Friday night. As a result, La Romaine advanced to the final, in which this year’s winner will take away $1.5 million.