It’s that point when hard core basketball fans are just beginning to tire of the discussion over the slew of trades that happened within the last month or so, and are about ready to see what happens on the court. For those fans, the two to three weeks wait that still remains will be killer.
This weekend comes with unique storyline for defending champions Cantonment Teshie-Nungua, from sniper Frank Adoble pairing with Albert Nana Yaw Yeboah, to James Town hoping for a shot at their first title with a healthy Solomon Oppong and the addition of repertoire of skills witnessed on the opening day.
Like anything based on best guesses, predictions really don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, other than perhaps providing entertainment to those caught in this calm of season-2 of the biggest and finest basketball championship among communities in Ghana capital, Accra. For those fans, these predictions may spark enough conversation to get them through the wait.
The second round matchups look pretty uninspiring on the surface, but let’s dig a little deeper. Here’s a bracket.
This one should be a yawner, but you never know with the rivalries between these two communities, this fixture will epitomise which one will hold the bragging right.
The debutant-Teshie-Nungua have been slightly better than many expected, with a clear leader in EX-WO1 Joseph Ayizangah helping to keep things running smoothly. They produced a blistering and explosive display to shock favourite Cantonment in their opener.
While dishing out the famous victory over the defending champions, their opponent were also been taught basketball lessons by Ashaiman at the University of Ghana basketball court. They played averagely well but that was not enough to sink 35-33 in a nail biting defeat to the delight of manager Raphael Ahadzie who had everything spot on on the day.
Maamobi-Nima probably feels just lucky to have another chance in the group phase, as their players struggled with ineffective ball control and bad defensive network despite the narrow score line. Baring an epic Teshie-Nungua meltdown, they’ll be going home in a matter of day.
This is a rather unexpected second round game. One of the heavy favourite, Ridge could be heading home if they don’t get result against their opponent on Saturday.
They were shell-shocked last week by Kaneshie in their first game –leaving coach Braimah Lawah and his backroom staff wondering what might have hit the team that were overly impressive last year and clearly in the books of many as the one to beat this season.
Notwithstanding they have a chance to rewrite the wrong on Saturday when they walk onto the court to play James Town, hoping they won’t suffer the same fate that be felled them last week against an unlikely opponent.
James Town themselves need to pull together and get a good game on course following their opening day blip to host Legon. They were beaten but not disgraced in a game that lived up to it pre-match hype. Expects more fireworks in this encounter but expect Ridge to come up stronger. Because they can’t afford to disappoint their fans and pundits.
Raphael Ahadzie’s contingent should be fairly happy with their team’s fortune so far. Pulling off a win against Maamobi –Nima is pretty impressive, but they must be out of their element against the defending champions. Frank Adobler has been very effective and his 3/3 three point range against Teshie-Nungua underlined how crucial he’s to the title defence of Daniel Sowah’s young players. Albert Nana Yaw Yeboah has been an inefficient member of the squad surprisingly from down under.
It’s pretty a close contest for both teams. It’s a ‘father and son’ affair from the coaching perspective. Raphael Ahadzi was tutored by Daniel Sowah and what a contrasting fortune that these men will cross swords at the opposite end- issuing out instructions to their respective teams.
Cantonment is the community which has a lot to prove following their opening day defeat and won’t be in any mood for nice gestures. It’s gonna be a battle of wit and power play with the key actors been the players on the court.
What separates these two coaches is their level of composure on the baseline. While Ahadzie is a man of few words, many deeds, Sowah is the ‘acid-tongue’ type who almost always electrify the fans with his baseline antics.
He’s earned the nicknamed ‘Sowee’ and rightly so. He makes the game thick and even referees and other officials including his own colleague sometimes finds it difficult to contain him. He’s loved and hated for so many interesting reasons.
Edge: too close to call
Oh, the juicy victors-related storylines of this game. First, let’s talk about the guy who’s easily becoming the MVP of his side so far, and a guy for whom fans hearts always beat a little harder out of anger about how his situation could be handled: Bright Tengey has shown to be an unstoppable force. The former Student of West African Senior High (WASS) in the West African country, has been the leader of the Legon team, if not the leading scorer.
His scoring, rebounding and defense contributed greatly to the success of the host, and helped them to offset their woes last season.
So, there you have it. Feel free to use this thread as the aggregate game thread for all of the games, and let’s talk again before the final group matches on Saturday September 25.
Community Dunks is an initiative of Rite Multimedia and sponsored by Indomie with support from Metro TV.
By: Patrick Akoto
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