Written by: Carlena Knight
Newly promoted team, Big Banana Express upset SaniPro Northside Stingerz in the first game of a double header in the Antigua & Barbuda Basketball Association division 1 season opener on Sunday at JSC.
The 76-68 victory was a huge triumph for the westside team as both teams had a longstanding rivalry coming up from the second division and had much to prove now entering what many call the ‘big boys league’.
Stingerz however came into the game with an edge over Express boasting an undefeated record and a roster sporting multiple national players such as Chaz Samuel and Mario Davis, brother of fellow Stingerz, Mahijah Davis.
But even with a 28 point effort from Mario Davis and 19 point effort from Mahijah Davis, Stingerz came up short to the vibrant Express team as they welcomed home golden boys, Xavier ‘Xman’ Meade and Lindsay McDonald.
McDonald with his 17 points helped pushed the team over the edge as it seemed like all hope was lost when Xavier Meade was fouled out early into the last quarter. He was assisted by George Francis with 12 and newly signed player, Shawn ‘Gizmo’ Williams with 11.
Defending champions, F&G Trading Cuties Ovals Ojays began their journey to another title in grand style defeating Hometech Systems Outlaws, 80-54. The ovals team dominated the last three quarters leading by as many as 30 points.
League MVP of last season, Bryan ‘Hollywood’ Matthew picked up where he left off last season with 26 points and 20 rebounds. He was assisted by fellow veteran, Marlon ‘ Buju’ Charles who had 17 points and 10 rebounds respectively.
Outlaws’ Kevin Roberts had 14 while Shamarie Southwell chipped in with 12.