After all the acrimony that characterized the final day of the Greater Accra basketball series, the dust has now settled and pundits and fans are now beginning to come down to earth and accept the fact coach Claudius Thompson and his Hoops charges must wait for another year to attempt to unseat CEPS.
Following the incredible feat chalked by the 10-time champions, many questions have arisen as to the competitive nature of the league and perhaps the most likely one that followers are keen to unravel in the foreseeable future – When and who can beat CEPS after all? It appears like this question might linger on for few years to come and if the claims by the Vice-Chairman of the Greater Accra basketball Association are anything to go, then we must be in for another droning campaign next term.
He told basketballghana.com: ‘‘if you look at what we’ve done in the past ten years, it will take a miracle for any team to unseat us’.
‘We have a very strong team and the rest of the competing teams must do more than they’re doing now to clinch the championship under our feet’
He added: ‘We have never been complacent and that is how and why we’ve become so successful on the local scene. We are still growing stronger and I don’t see any other winner in the next couple of years apart from our team’
The typical roadblocks have already been set in motion by Mr Baafi, even before next season’s jump ball. Would his side be able to keep their heads above waters and keep the championship under their belt for another decade? Are they impregnable enough to create another piece of history? Fair questions to ask I guess but judging from what CEPS have done over the past ten years, he won’t be far from right to claim his side has the unique chance to make the game it absolute creature in the West African country.
Hoops put up a blustery performance in the series but their only blip against the eventual winners – CEPS reviled them to second place on the league table. That was their second in succession in the top flight league following a similar feat last term.
Don’t make a mistake about the ability of the Cape Coast based side to do damage next season. They showed with the juniors in the Milo Junior Ball at the El-Wak stadium in March and appear like a side whose focal point is to build on the youth. If they continue such an agenda, they could become one of the most unbeatable sides in the series- at least taken a cue from their past two seasons in the elite division.
They showed character, charisma, determination, will-power and huge enthusiasm in the whole season and their narrow and nail-biting 91-90 defeat to CEPS in the championship on May 28, 2010 was their only blot of an exciting and breath-taking campaign.
For the highly unpretentious coach Claudius Thompson, recording a remarkable win over his senior counterpart- coach Braimah Lawah would have pushed his status in the game high and possibly make him rise from a great prospect to greatness. But that was never to be as he lost the ‘fight’ in a quite a close contest. Nevertheless he has carved a niche for himself as a huge potential and one certainly made for the future.
He has vowed to bring champagne basketball to the country’s rich cultural heritage region but will need a lot of thrive and drive to make that schema a reality.
He has masterminded the success story of the Central Regional based side for the past three years – subsequently passing the litmus test for his technical acumen
He is one young coach who is fast learning the rudiment of the game and honestly should be encouraged to take up international courses to enhance his technical know-how and touch.
But irrespective of how we try and access the performance of the side that can indisputably challenge CEPS of the title, it will take more than just determination and character to oust the 10-time champions. As to what exactly they or any other team will require to beat CEPS in the coming years, only posterity will tell!!
By: Patrick Akoto