In sports it is always an interesting sight when teams face their former players. Such will be the case when two of local basketball’s top clubs face off.
Thursday 21 April sees team Philippines take on the Dominos Warriors at the Arts and Recreation Centre at Camana Bay. The 6pm contest is part of the Cayman Islands Basketball Association 2011 national men’s league. Heading into the contest both clubs are at the top of the standings with the Philippines undefeated and Dominos sporting only one loss in five games.
A big sub-plot to the encounter is how Chris Lucas is treated by the Warriors. Lucas played with Dominos last year as the side advanced to the championship match. This year he is playing with the Filipinos and dominating the court ranking second in the league in scoring (averaging 27.2 points per game), fourth in rebounds (with 13 boards a game) and fifth in free throw percentage (at 84.4 per cent).
Warriors big man Rotando Thompson played with Lucas last year. He states the departure of Lucas and emergence of the Philippines side are for the best.
“I noticed a difference in our team when he left,” Thompson said. “Certainly the Filipinos picked up a real good player. I look at it as making the competition more interesting and competitive. I’m looking forward to facing them on Thursday and the rest of the year.
“Overall the league is very competitive with all the teams involved. You can’t sleep on any team as you have to bring your A game every game. It’s exciting in a way to see a competitive Filipino team.”
As far as tactics go, Dominos have two of the tallest players in Thompson (who is 6ft 8in) and Serbian Borislav Djordjic (who is 6ft 7in). It will be interesting how they fare against a relatively short Philippines team.