Cayman basketball’s top flight will have no shortage of postseason drama.
The division one playoffs of the Digicel National Men’s League start on May 4 at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Center. Four squads will start their best-of-three opening round playoff series as No. 2 Caledonian Lions challenge No. 3 Dominos Warriors at 5:30 p.m. before No. 1 Silver Bullets battle No. 4 Sol Blazers – the reigning champions – at 7 p.m. Caledonian and Bullets both went 8-2 but head-to-head results determined the top seeds, Dominos finished 7-3 and Sol were 5-5. The 2-8 Wendy’s Tarheels and 0-10 George Town Sports Club missed out on the postseason.
Technical director for Cayman basketball Victor ‘Voot’ O’Garro said both series offer plenty of story lines.
“Division one is in a sweet spot right now,” O’Garro said. “With Bullets getting the top spot and Caledonian facing Dominos, those are exciting series. Lions and Warriors is a fight to the finish as they were at the top of standings throughout the season. Bullets are happy to be first because Blazers are missing their star players. If they come back, they can make a difference but the Bullets will want to eliminate Sol before they come back. Without the foreign players, I think Bullets will have the edge.
“Blazers are right there but they are not as effective and without those foreign players, they will not repeat because we have three solid teams in the tournament. That doesn’t mean Blazers will win if they return, but they’ll stand a much better chance.”
The Lions capped off their campaign by mauling George Town, 125-85, last Sunday. John White went off for 47 points with an astounding 13 3-pointers for the victors while Borislav “Boka” Djordjic had a monster double-double with 46 points and 27 rebounds. Daniel Mowatt added 13 points and 13 rebounds for Caledonian and Milos Martinovic contributed 11 points. Sol would defeat Tarheels, 89-68, as Davion Foster had 21 points and 19 rebounds for the Blazers and Davion Cotterell scored 21 points. Jasen Campbell added 16 points and Josh Cotterell chipped in 10 points for the winners.
Bullets and Warriors have excelled this year as veteran squads featuring balanced scoring. Brandon Glasgow was the leading man for the Bullets, averaging 15 points per game, while Curtis Wilson averaged 14.5 points and Alex Brzozowicz scored 13.4 points on average. Dominos countered with the league’s second-leading scorer, Collin Anglin (28.6 ppg), being supported by the likes of Chris Lucas (fifth in scoring at 17.4 ppg) and Christian Ferrer (15.6 ppg).
O’Garro says a number of players will have starring roles in both series.
“With Warriors, someone has to hold Collin as he is the leader of that team. You also have to watch Ferrer and Lucas because they are explosive players. Warriors also have players who are abroad that can strengthen the team, like Jerome Narcisse. For Caledonian, the stars are Boka and White and you have to put constant pressure on them. It will be a matter of match-ups as both teams have full sides.
“Curtis has done a fantastic job leading the Bullets with a great center in Stephen Shaw and great shooting from Alex. For Blazers, Kevin Maxwell will have to mark Shaw and there are interesting match-ups at guard with Perry Levy. Josh Cotterell is what we call the ‘microwave’ because he can light it up at anytime and he doesn’t have to warm up to score. Davion Cotterell is back and is one of the missing pieces along with Deandre Simpson. It should be an exciting series.”