29 March 2012

LIBERIA : Flames Burn Mogars 80 - 74 Points After Extra Time in LBA National League

Flames Burn Mogars 80 - 74 Points After Extra Time in LBA National League
Coach Doe gives pep talks to his Flames squad
Coach Doe gives pep talks to his Flames squad

Have Cestos Mogars reached declining avenue in the Liberia Basketball Association (LBA) national league? This will probably be a tough question to answer, especially for a team that have won five of six games against Commissioners, NPA Pythons, Mighty Barrolle, Uhuru Kings and SOS Trotters.
It was a game that pitted two friends: Malcolm Joseph and Zoegar Jaynes on a dramatic evening at the Sports Commission on Broad Street. Mogars fought against all odds before losing to Flames by 74 to 80 points after extra time in a first division clash on March 17.
It was a high tempo match with both coaches and officials shouting and or screaming throughout the game. Mogars took a commanding lead in the first quarter, 15 to 8 points, before Flames narrowly won the second quarter by 19 to 18 points.
Back from the half time break, both teams were leveled at 16 points after the third quarter but a host of Mogars’ replacements changed the game for the worst and they lost the last quarter by 16 to 22 points.
Their blushes was partly spared with two seconds to go as captain Alvin Kulah was fouled when he raced towards basket and referee Solomon Johnson signaled for three free throws, football’s version of a penalty.
Had Kulah gotten all, his team would have probably won the match by 65 to 64 points. Having scored two of the three throws, referee Johnson was compelled to signal for five extra minutes because there is no drawn game in the basketball world.
Flames won the extra period by 15 to 9 points, making the final score 80 to 74 points. But Kulah, who partly blamed their defeat to fatigue, was full of praises for his opponents.
“Actually, Flames did well. They played well and their tactics were informed. It was more physical. We played well but I think my team had a little bit of fatigue because we were doing physical these few days. I think that is where our fault came from. But we will come back with a lot of force,” he stated.

For a team that took on such a form by cutting some big trees that came their way, Kulah believes there are no minnows in the league.
“Honestly, basketball is a different kind of game. Every team in this league is a first division team. So no team is bigger than its friend. Flames played hard. Flames beat Uhuru Kings so they are a hard team too."
“They did well by winning and we must congratulate them for that. But we can assure the federation and our friends that we are coming back with force and we will do our best to qualify [for the championship finals],” he warned. Flames Head Coach Weekee Doe took over the team on the day of the match and no wonder why his voice was the loudest from the dugout.
“Well, the kids have potential. They played good basketball. They are young and they have energy. We just need to impact the technical know-how in them. For sure, the fans can expect something better from me.
“Obviously, basketball is a tough game especially for our kids. This is an amateur league. We have to keep them on their heels. You can’t be quiet as a coach. You must keep them on their heels to make them to do what you told them to do,” he justified.

In the early games, Don Bosco Legends forfeited to Ducor Magic, meaning the latter received free 20 points without bouncing a ball while Timberwolves beat Harbel Pointers by 49 to 42 points. Timber won the first, second and third quarters by 6 to 4, 11 to 9 and 16 to 9 points before losing the last quarter by 16 to 20 points.
But Timberwolves had to play the remaining part of the game without coach Jimmy Lee, who was ejected from the gym in the second quarter. Captain T. Wynstin Williams had to resume the coaching responsibility of the team.

On March 16, St. Paul Crushers lost 38 - 47 points to Uhuru Prince in game one while Bardnersville Celtics went down by 39 to 44 points to Heats in game two. In the last game, Mighty Barrolle struggled to beat Cardinals by 69 to 67 points in the first division.

Good write-up

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