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Saints retain Easter title

Emoni Narawa
Sunday, April 20, 2014

THE Saints have made it three in a row.

The champion Suva Basketball League club successfully retained its National Easter Basketball Championship title following a 41-31 victory over a physical Boston White side at the Vodafone Arena yesterday.

Led by Fiji basketball skipper Leonard Whippy, Saints proved their worth and continued to dominate local basketball for the third year in a row and walked away $2000 richer.

Whippy said winning the title for third year was a bonus.

"You win one, then two and then three that makes it very special," Whippy said.

"This win means a lot to the players who put in a lot of effort at preparation and we're pretty happy with the outcome."

Boston White, made up of former Fiji under-19 reps such as Pita Gus made a good start in the opening quarter, however, experience sustained Saints to work their way throughout the remaining quarters until the final whistle.

Whippy, Wayman Whippy, William Quonadovu, Tui Sikivou and United States-based Blake Brogan combined well to rip apart Boston's defence.

Whippy said they knew Boston would be out firing from the opening whistle.

"It was a tough game, we knew that Boston will come out firing in the beginning, we just have to trust our system and get back into the game."

US player, Brogan said it was a very physical game.

"It's good to taste Fijian basketball, it's a lot physical," he said.

"It's a lot different to American basketball. I learned to adjust to the game and I'm happy that we won the championship."

Brogan received few knocks during the match.

"The boys warned me that it is going to be very physical and after receiving a few knocks, I managed to settle in well in the game."

Whippy said Brogan's skills were a bonus to the team.

"He got skills and he really helped us a lot during the tournament."

Meanwhile, Sparks defended its women's title after beating Neptune Dynamic Redz 27-20 in the final.

Men

Quarter-finals: Saints 39 Bryce 19, Boston White 40 Moin 28, Idaman 35 SSI 32, Warriors 26 Boston Red 22

Semi-finals: Saints 53 Idaman 26, Warriors 28 Boston White 36

Final: Saints 41 Boston White 31

Women

Semi-finals: Dynamic Redz 38 Shine One 23, Sparks 41 Lady Birds 16

Final: Sparks 27 Dynamic Redz 20


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