The Dominos Warriors are aiming most of their frustrations at local referees.
After a 66-64 defeat at the hands of the Esso Blazers, the Warriors had many complaints about Cayman Islands Basketball Association officials Bobeth O’Garro and Courtney Wisdom. Dominos player Haymond Rankine states their fourth quarter calls hurt his team.
“There is no argument that the game was over with 20 seconds left,” Rankine said. “Sammy O’Garro hit two threes, I give him that, but that missed foul with Antonio Thompson cost us the game. What a no call. Courtney shouldn’t be refereeing.
“The crowd was hyped up and what the hell could we do with 0.2 seconds? The thing is they couldn’t handle us and we executed the game plan perfectly. That’s the most frustrating part of the game to me.”
Dominos’ defeat took place last Sunday at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre. The contest served as game one in the best-of-three championship series for the basketball association 2012 national men’s league. Game two of the series is this Sunday, 3 June, at 7pm at Camana Bay. Game three, if necessary, would be next Sunday, 10 June, at the same time and place.
The Warriors, Cayman’s reigning national champions, lost a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter on Sunday. While they had solid games, team captain Collin Anglin and Serbian star Borislav ‘Boka’ Djordjic missed baskets late. Esso countered as O’Garro had two three-pointers while Davi Cotterell split a pair of free throws to tie it. Shaad O’Garro had the game-winning fastbreak dunk.
For Dominos head coach Shomari Scott, those follies came down to missed calls and turnovers.
“In the last quarter we were up by a lot,” Scott said. “They put pressure on us that caused silly turnovers. But that’s the way basketball goes, it’s a game of runs. The game had some questionable fouls, or more specifically a lack of fouls called, but I can’t complain about that.
“Esso hit shots they had to hit. It was a good gameplan, we should have won. But that’s why it’s a best of three. We’re going to take the next two and repeat.”
For the record, Esso are the top overall seed and beat the DHL Wolves in three games in the first round of the playoffs. Dominos are the third seed and are coming off a two-game sweep of the Shining Stars Childhood Care and Education Centre.
Both Rankine and Scott agree that for Dominos to avoid the sweep, execution has to improve.
“It’ll be the same way we played, executing the gameplan we ran in game one,” Rankine said. “We can get it done. We got to make sure the margin is larger than they can come back from.
“It’s all about team-work, setting screens, making threes and getting multiple baskets inside. Defence and teamwork; that’s what it’s all about. Rotando Thompson and Boka are instrumental and as a role player, I have to set screens and score.”
“We’ll do the same thing as game one,” Scott said. “We should’ve won that. There will be a few tweaks but as far as our gameplan goes, it worked. Luigi Moxam will play in game two.
“I won’t say Esso got lucky but they had to make the shots they had to make. We won’t leave it until the last minute to win.”