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Sierra Leone Sports: WABA league keep fans entertained

The return of the 2018 western area inter-club basketball league saw huge numbers of spectators out to watch the opening matches at the Siaka Stevens Stadium basketball arena on the evening of Friday and Saturday.
The fans were happy to see the league commence. They clapped, sang and chanted the names of the players to motivate them.
And those who won left the court with delight, whiles the losers hope for a better performance that will produce good and exiting results in their remaining fixtures.
The 3 weekend matches between rivals Dock Canon and Dukuray Warriors, Upwards vs Ashonix and Freetown Lakers vs Murray Deen was interesting, entertaining and challenging.
But the most unfortunate thing was that the players were repeatedly pushed off passes, which for many, was due to the long stay off the court and the physical approach used by most of the other players to gain points from their opponents.
On Friday, Dock Canons overpowered eastern rivals Dukuray Warriors to secure 11 point victory 71-60. Despite the hype from the Warriors prior to the match, they were unable to recover and the Dockers got a comfortable win as expected by the fans. The Dockers were more organized offensively
The Coach of the Warriors, Umar Blasmo Kargbo said losing against Dock Canon was disturbing and it was due to careless play and lack of concentration, self-confidence and commitment from his players who were very weak on defending.
Kargbo assured that they will put everything in place ahead of their remaining fixtures to avoid such defeat. Stating, they are looking forward to improve their performance in their next matches to get resounding victories.
On Saturday afternoon, Murray Deen got a clear 15 points win (43-28) over the unprepared Freetown Lakers who struggled throughout the match with less shooting opportunities and poor defensive quality.
Murray Deen’s, Oluwale Smith, contributed greatly to record the 15 points victory, scoring 13 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and made an impressive 5 blocks.
The Lakers blamed their defeat on poor planning, lack of training and experienced, as most of their senior players depart the club to play for other clubs.
Despite losing woefully against Murray Deen, the technical team of the Lakers believe there is room for improvement despite foreseeing a very challenging season due to the young set of players they are using.
Lakers Coach Amadu Lee admitted, “These players are good, but they are young and lack the tenacity to stand bigger teams. They don’t have the experience but we are using them this season because they are what we have at the moment.
“We will use this league to boost their confidence and expose them to bigger challenges. Trust me, by next season we will be the team to beat”, he said.
The excited Murray Deen Coach, Leslie Pearce, said his boys were very athletic and powerful on displaying their qualities against the Lakers, that’s the more reason they dominated the match and stopped them from scoring more points.
Pearce vowed to maintain the winning streak to put his team on the right position that will give them the opportunity to win the title with ease.
In match three, Ashonix edged Upwards with 7 points win 40-33 on Saturday evening in a match, which started slowly and went on to gain momentum.
Ashonix came from 2 points (8-6) behind Upwards in the first quarter to win under an extreme pressure. And offensively, Sydney Conteh scored 13 points, 1 rebound and made 6 blocks for the winning side.
The league will resume on Sunday 11 March 2018 at the Siaka Stevens Stadium basketball court with more interesting matches lined up.
By Magdalene S. Konneh
Tuesday March 06, 2018.

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