Hoopsters push Titans to the edge

Postseason basketball is in full effect for the Cayman Islands. 

The opening round of the division two playoffs in the Digicel National Men’s League comes to a close on Tuesday.  

The NEC Titans and Cayman Islands Hoopsters play game three of their best-of-three series at 6:15 p.m. at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Center. Titans won game one, 75-61, thanks to 22 points and 15 rebounds from Darrell Paddyfoot before Hoopsters grabbed game two, 61-58, as Naithique Jackson soared for 18 points. Titans are the third seed after a 4-3 regular season mark while Hoopsters, 2-5, were sixth. 

Every other series featured two-game sweeps. Top seed Charterland took out the eighth seed Rock Hole Fire Ants, 70-49 in game one – thanks to 18 points and four 3-pointers from Jeremy Strickland – and 114-42 in game two – as Nathan Smith and Chris LeBeau combined for 48 points, seven 3-pointers, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Charterland were a perfect 7-0 during the season while Rock Hole went 0-7. 

Second seed Smoothie King, 6-1, beat seventh-ranked Juniors, 2-5, with a 54-53 score in game one – as John Paul Azul netted 16 points – before claiming game two, 67-53, thanks to 18 points and eight rebounds from Andrew Diaz. Fourth seed team Philippines, 4-3, defeated fifth-ranked 3-4 Sol Blazers, 59-53 in the opener – as Darwin Mancenido scored 20 points – and 69-52 in game two. 

Second round games are slated to start on May 1. The division one playoffs begin on May 4 after the regular season wrapped up last Sunday. 

News of the league postseason comes after Cayman’s national Under-16 boys team swept a select squad from the Colombian island of San Andres over Easter. Cayman won game one, 63-59 – as Juawon Ebanks nabbed 21 points and eight rebounds – and then claimed game two, 75-74, as Arin Taylor netted 18 points and six assists. 

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Arin Taylor led Cayman past San Andres. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES

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Darrell Paddyfoot produced a double-double in game one.

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