Wolves tops under Trini

The season is half way done and the
Wolves look every bit like a defending champion.

Last year’s national men’s league
champs are in first place in division one of the Cayman Islands Basketball
Association national basketball league.

A 5-1 record comes courtesy of a
strong showing on both ends of the court. The side is second in scoring (notching
509 points) and second in defense (allowing 414 points).

One reason why the team’s success
continues is coach Duran “Trini” Whittaker. One of the founders of the team,
Trini has seen his club rise to the upper echelons of the sport in less than
five years.

Trini’s only cause for concern this
season was a 79-76 defeat to the Silver Bullets on May 6. Kwei General was the
hero for the Bullets with the winning free throws.

“The loss was a wake-up call,”
Whittaker said. “We had kept playing off our talent until then. In that game in
fact we relied too much on that talent. I guess our loss makes the league more
interesting as one team is not winning everything.

“Our aim was to go undefeated after
beating (the) Dominos (Warriors on April 29). But our players got complacent. I
tip my hat to the Bullets; they played us hard for 48 minutes. At the end of
the day I’m not concerned. It’s not as if the loss puts us out of the
playoffs.”

The Wolves bounced back from the
loss quickly as it beat team Philippines 98-61 on Sunday. Four players were in
double figures in that game including centre Andres Kirchman (19 points, 10
rebounds).

Aside from those players Trini
points out the new pieces have made a big impact on the side.

“(Vanrick) Felix, Sandi (Jiminez)
and Brandon (Glasgow)
are our guards and they are athletic recruits. To be honest our team works
through Dwight (O’Garro) and Butcher (Gary McLaughlin) but Felix does so much
for us at the point.

“One big man and one small guy is
how we work on the court. We have options on a triangle and with our pick and
roll. It’s all about how we work on offense to create the mismatches.”

The Wolves have every reason to
feel confident now but the rest of the way is far from easy. On Thursday
evening the side faces the third place Bulls before tackling the resurgent
Wendy’s Tarheels, Dominos Warriors and Silver Bullets in coming weeks.

Nevertheless Trini is adamant his
team is better off this season than last year.

“We have more understanding as a
team and as a unit,” Whittaker said. “Everyone has to do their part, whether
they be a sub or a starter for us to win.”

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