Shaolin burn Esso’s title hopes

A championship seems to elude the Esso Blazers.

No matter how close it gets the squad can’t seem to close the deal.

The latest example of that theory came over the weekend in the world of indoor basketball.

Esso lost to Shaolin 61-53 in the final of the Cayman Islands Basketball Association Indoor League.

The action was at a standstill for much of the first half as the teams felt each other out.

However Esso got into trouble towards half-time as they lost ground on offense due to a stifling Shaolin defense.

Leading the way for Shaolin was Omari Corbin, who had a handful of massive blocks.

By half-time Coach Shawn Pitterson had his work cut out for him as the team trailed 20-27.

Pitterson did his best to strike a fire in his team and for the most part his pep talk worked.

The team scored more in the second half though the defense continued to get hurt by the likes of Collin Anglin and Filipino star Christian Ferrer. Both were active and were often in a position to score.

Shaolin stretched their lead a little and played the entire second half aiming to consolidate their lead.

Nevertheless the final stats show both teams had plenty of star performances.

In spite of the loss Esso saw big man Kevin Maxwell steady the scoring with 14 points and seven rebounds. Fellow inside presence Rotando Thompson had a game-high 15 rebounds and eight points.

Morgan Bodden (11) and Perry Levy (10) were the other team members in double figures.

Shaolin had a stand-out game from final MVP Sebastian Sache who chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds.

Corbin capped off a spectacular game by finishing with 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

Cory Thompson and Kenval Bryant each had nine points.