Sunday, December 17, 2017

Petro Jazz take 3-2 series lead over Valencia Heat


FINAL-HIGH: Petro Jazz forward Kirk Baptiste, left, collects the Courts Player of the Match award from general secretary of the National Basketball Federation of Trinidad and Tobago Claire Mitchell after game five of the Mackeson Super 10 Basketball League Menís division finals against Valencia Heat at Southern Indoor Sports Arena in Pleasantville, San Fernando on Sunday ni ght. Baptiste scored 21 points and had six rebounds as Jazz won 86-81. óPhoto courtesy Super 10 Basketball League

Mark Fraser

 Forward Kirk Baptiste scored a play-off final-high of 21 points and grabbed six rebounds to guide Petro Jazz to an exciting 86-81 victory over Valencia Heat in Game 5 of the Mackeson Super 10 Basketball League Men’s Division finals at Southern Indoor Sports Arena in Pleasantville, San Fernando on Sunday night.

With no team having won on their home court in the previous four matches, the first two quarters seemed to suggest that that trend would continue.

Visitors Valencia Heat led the first quarter 24-10 and were ahead 36-30 at half-time.

However, the scores were close throughout the third session until forward Kevin Sargeant scored a three-point basket coming at the end of the session to put the home team ahead 55-53 for the first time on the night.

The game remained tight in the final quarter before forward Ako Pascal, Baptiste and centre Dextroy Manswell combined for the Jazz’s final 11 points, which separated the teams in the end.

Baptiste was supported by guard Adrian Joseph, who scored 16 points and four rebounds, while Pascal netted 15 and centre Steve McSween chipped in with 13 points and six rebounds.

For Valencia Heat, it was centre Dwayne Virgil and forward Jeffrey Saunders who led the way. They finished with 17 points each and had seven and ten rebounds, respectively. Forward Fabrice Fisher added 13 points.

Game 6 will take place tomorrow in Maloney starting at 7 p.m.