The Esso Blazers could be worried based on their regular season form.
With a number of losses to contending sides, the reigning champions might struggle to advance past the first round of the playoffs in Division One of the Cayman Islands Basketball Association 2013 National Men’s League.
For assistant coach Carlos Pastor, he is content that his veteran players weathered the storm this year.
“It’s great, it says a lot about their loyalty to head coach Shawn Pitterson and the team,” Pastor said. “It speaks to the kind of environment Shawn has created over the years.
“It certainly says a lot about players that have shown loyalty over the years like Perry Levy, Kevin Maxwell and Nicholas ‘Muscles’ Beverly. They’ve seen the bad, stuck it out and are enjoying the good now (as defending champs).
“The fact that the guys didn’t jump ship starts from the top and makes it easier for the other guys to do the same. We’ll be excited to have everyone back and wish we had more teams to play against in the league.”
According to the latest standings, which do not account for three regular season games, Esso finished third during their campaign at 3-3. They trailed Rohan Webster’s 3-3 Silver Bullets and Collin Anglin’s top seed Dominos Warriors, 5-1, with both sides registering convincing wins over the Blazers. Chris Lucas’ George Town Sports Club, 0-6, ended up in last place.
The playoffs are slated to start this Sunday, 12 May, at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre. At 5pm, Dominos start their best-of-three series against George Town, while Bullets and Blazers square off at 6.45pm.
It should be noted that a number of Esso talents have not played much this season due to being based abroad. Among the notables are brothers Samuel and Shaad O’Garro and Davion Cotterell.