The Dominos Warriors face a lot of questions this offseason.
After a fourth straight finals defeat, there are doubts as to the club’s basketball strategy, the personnel and the general attitude of the side. Star player Collin Anglin, who gave multiple heroic efforts throughout the three-game series against the eventual three-time champions Sol Blazers, says losing this time around is different.
“To be honest, I told my guys we have nothing to put our heads down about,” Anglin said. “Unfortunately, we did not have some of the guys towards the end of the season, but we did well with what we had. Blazers used their edge in numbers against us. Christian Ferrer, for example, couldn’t play in game three due to a bad injury to his eye (he damaged his retina). That changed the dynamics of that game.
“Along the way, we adjusted on offense. They had more players than us and took advantage of extra bodies they had. We were down almost 20 points at one point and we brought it down to two points at one stage in the fourth quarter. This loss is easier to stomach than last year, which was a clean blowout.”
Anglin had a game-high 34 points, including two 3-pointers in that decisive contest for the division one finale in the Digicel National Men’s League. Teammate Jerome Narcisse chipped in 27 points while big men Collin Bodden and Kenval Bryan combined for 24 rebounds and seven points. It would not be enough to stave off a nine-point defeat that featured Jasen Campbell scoring a team-high 21 points off three 3-pointers for Sol, Shaad O’Garro nabbing 17 points and 10 rebounds, Deandre Simpson netting 13 points and 16 rebounds, Sammy O’Garro contributing 13 points and Davion Cotterell chipping in 10 points.
To Anglin’s point, a number of mainstays over the years were absent in the playoffs for personal reasons. Among them were Antonio Thompson and Rotando Thompson, who were part of the 2011 championship-winning team.
All three of Sol’s back-to-back-to-to-back titles have come at Dominos’s expense. The latest triumph would also come with a financial boost for coach Shawn Pitterson and company as Sol Petroleum Cayman Ltd. – who have backed the team some 14 years since their days as Esso – handed the Blazers a check for $2,000.
Dominos head coach Shomari Scott had an unorthodox approach to his playoff roster, often playing with two players or less on his bench and preferring a short rotation. Scott says his tactics suited an experienced squad and that coming up short again is not an insult.
“Competing in five straight championships is a testament to anyone who joins our team, forming a cohesive unit that always competes at the highest level,” Scott said. “The three players who have been here for every run in the past five years are the anchors of the team – Collin, Jerome, and Kenval. The newcomers for this year, most returning to the team from previous years, have been awesome – Christian, Chris Lucas, Collin Bodden and Andre Scott all have made this year special.”
Next season promises to be slightly different from a personnel viewpoint with the addition of Darrell Paddyfoot. The division two regular season Most Valuable Player, rebounding and scoring champion has expressed his desire to join the Warriors and give Sol a fight. Paddyfoot, 23, played for the NEC Titans – who would fall short of a title to eventual winners Charterland – and says after winning championships in past seasons, he wants a bigger challenge.
“I never won the MVP award, each year I came close,” Paddyfoot said. “It started off with the captain getting hurt and I guess I was that guy to step up. I wanted another championship. But I think next year I’ll step up to division one. I’m going to the Warriors next February to assist Collin to a championship. I know my weight is a problem but I have to work on that and other things.”