Esso persevere to hoist trophy

Esso waited 14 years for a national basketball champion. Their patience has finally been rewarded.

The Esso Blazers are Cayman’s new powerhouse after beating the Dominos Warriors 95-71 last Sunday at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre. The match served as game two in the best-of-three division one finals for the Cayman Islands Basketball Association 2012 men’s league.

Esso won their first title via a sweep as they defeated Dominos 66-64 in game one. For Esso Cayman Limited Country Manager J. Alan Neesome, the victory validates the years of support.

“It was a great team-effort, all of the guys worked hard,” Neesome said. “Game two was a very close game in the third quarter. Dominos put the Blazers under pressure but the Esso defence and offence played hard together in the fourth quarter.

“For 14 years we’ve been sponsoring the team. This is the season, we deserved this win. We’re very blessed for this. It’s great, the Blazers deserved to win against a good opponent. This year, we did it as clearly the best team.”

Esso dictated the action early in game two, taking a 21-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. Their lead would swell to as much as 18 points in the second quarter before going into half-time up 43-30.

Dominos, under head coach Shomari Scott, turned up the defensive pressure in the third, cutting the lead to 45-42 with six minutes and eight seconds remaining in the period. Veteran guard Perry Levy would respond with a three-pointer to put head coach Shawn Pitterson and his Esso troops up 48-42.

The Blazers would roll to a 67-55 edge by the end of the third, punctuated by a Kevin Maxwell hail-mary three-pointer at the buzzer. Esso never looked back in the fourth, going up 89-66 with 3.20 left.

As in game one, game two saw a full house at Camana Bay with mostly Esso fans. All would be part of a massive celebration on the court at the end of the contest, complete with champagne, cigars and public displays of affection with 
the trophy.

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