The Moneygram Philippines waited all season for a win in Cayman basketball.
The squad finally got it at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre. Moneygram would defeat the DHL Wolves 95-71 in the Cayman Islands Basketball Association 2012 national men’s league.
Captain Christian Ferrer states last Sunday’s victory was important for team morale.
“It’s been important for us, we’ve been thinking about it all season long,” Ferrer said. “Once we knew we were out of playoff contention, our priority was a win. On Sunday, we wanted to have fun and we won the game.
“It was the first game we played our system and everything clicked. Against the Wolves, Ugo Enzema dominated the boards. Dwight O’Garro and Big Show (Andres Kirchman) were there but it didn’t matter. I’m glad we got that win because we found out for ourselves that we can still compete with these guys.”
Moneygram were coming off a narrow five-point loss to the reigning champions Dominos Warriors this month. Ferrer, the team’s leading scorer, led the charge in that contest with 18 points off four three-pointers and six assists. The other notable contributors were Omar Clarke (13 points, 12 rebounds) and Chris Lucas (10 points, eight rebounds). All had big roles in Sunday’s win.
Ferrer states they have been key forces for the side this year.
“All of the guys on the team played well. One game Chris would play well, then Ugo, then Omar and then someone else. Ugo did especially well and he had a rough season. He’s in his last semester of school and is graduating from St. Matthew’s University. All season he struggled and at times he struggled to focus.
“We hope to have Omar back next year. Defensively he was great. His presence inside on defence was well felt. Chris is the most energetic person on the team. It’s not about the points for him but the hustle and rebounding. You don’t have to ask that of him, he does it in every game and at practice.”
Sunday’s victory put Moneygram’s record at 1-6, in last place and out of playoff contention. The Wolves meanwhile are 3-5 after their second straight loss (the side previously lost to the Warriors by 12 points).
The Philippines, who are also sponsored by J and B Construction, have one match left at Camana Bay, against league frontrunners the Esso Blazers this Sunday, 29 April, at 7pm. Ferrer states the focus is already on next season.
“We have one game left, against Esso. We definitely want a team next year and we will get in shape early. We were more laid-back this year and we found out the hard way that not preparing is not smart.
“When I say too laid-back, we didn’t organize practices in the season. Everyone had work scheduled. There are 10-12 people on the roster and if only five or six are at practice, it doesn’t make sense to go through plays. That was the hard thing; the Filipino guys are here to work, not play basketball. They had to put work first.”