Top players: Ronnel Winter (Valencia Heat), left, and Joelisa Cooper (Police) show off the championship trophies won by their teams in the inaugural 2013 bpTT Mayaro Basketball League at the prize distribution function at the Mayaro Indoor Sports Facility on Saturday. Sharing in the moment are, left, Lester Grant, president of South Corner Basketball Foundation, and Matthew Pierre, community liaison officer, BP Trinidad and Tobago.

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Valencia, Police dominate in Mayaro basketball

 Valencia Heat and Police dominated the inaugural 2013 bpTT Mayaro Basketball League competition, capturing the championship titles in the Men’s and Women’s Divisions, respectively. 

The teams also walked away with the major individual awards at the prize distribution function at the Mayaro Indoor Sport Facility on Saturday.

Sharing the spotlight were standouts, Ronnel Winter of Valencia Heat and Rhondha John-Davis of Police, who swept the individual awards in their respective divisions. Winter and John-Davis were voted Most Valuable Player (MVP) and won the awards for Most Points (Winter 160; John-Davis 182) and Most Three-pointers (Winter 18; John-Davis 14).

The 2013 competition, which was launched in August, saw a revival of competitive basketball in Mayaro after an absence of a decade. Sponsored by energy company BP Trinidad and Tobago, the tournament was organised by the South Corner Basketball Foundation.

Matthew Pierre, community liaison officer, bpTT and a former national player from Mayaro, said he was extremely happy to witness the revival of the sport in the south-eastern community. “As one of the persons who was present in the early days, I am delighted to see that we are rebuilding the foundations of basketball in Mayaro. BPTT is committed to the development of sport in general and we are pleased to be part of the revival of basketball in this region,” Pierre said.

He thanked officials of South Corner Basketball Foundation and the Association of Basketball Officials of Trinidad and Tobago (ABOTT) for their efforts in making the bpTT Basketball League a reality. Pierre urged both bodies to conduct training workshops for coaches, officials and players in order to bring the sport up to past standards when several Mayaro players were regulars on the national team.

SCBF President, Lester Grant, said the foundation faced several challenges to realise its vision of reviving basketball in Mayaro. “Basketball was very popular in years gone by. We have to work hard to get the young people involved again and to develop our own coaches and referees. We must thank bpTT for giving us a golden opportunity to bring back the glory days of basketball in Mayaro,” Grant said.

Kwame Cowie, ABOTT president, appealed for greater support from the various communities for their teams, pointing out that community support was a prime incentive for teams and players to excel.

A special award was presented to nine-year old Maria La Foucade, of Newlands Girls, as the youngest player in the league. Recogination awards were also presented to BVP Trinidad and Tobago, ABOTT and SCBF official Naomi Grant.


Major prizes in the inaugural 2013 bpTT Mayaro Basketball League:


Men’s Division


Champions: Valencia Heat; 2nd: Police Quarters United; 3rd: Grande Knights; 4th: NDS Ambassadors 

MVP: Ronnel Winters (Valencia Heat)

Most Points (160): Ronnel Winters

Most 3-Pointers (18): Ronnel Winters

Most Promising Player: Theron Evelyn (Mayaro Boys)

Most Elegant Player: Miciah Willuiams (Valencia Heat)

Best Coach: Richard Mungo (Grande Knights)


Women’s Division


Champions: Police; 2nd: Quarters United; 3rd: Marvellites; 4th Newlands

Girls

MVP: Rhondha John-Davis (Police)

Most Points (182): Rhondha John-Davis

Most 3-Pointers (14): Rhondha John-Davis

Most Promising Player: Maria La Foucade (Newlands Girls)

Most Elegant Player: Petra Gay (Quarters United)

Best Coach: Ashton Ford (Police).

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