BASKETBALLghana.com editor Patrick Akoto takes an in-depth look at four of the Greater Accra teams that have qualified and try to matchup and try to determined who would come out victorious based on past accomplishments, current skill sets, character and height and weight advantages.
The pursuit of success is about to begin and the road to immortality isn’t as easy as it may seem.
After weeks of intense regional battles in the 2012 Indomie Community Dunks, the grand showdown will take place on Saturday September 8 at the El-Wak stadium.
Eight communities from three regions including Burma Camp, Cantonment, Dansoman and James Town are among the four contenders that have qualified to represent the Greater Accra Region.
Kwadaso and Asokwa Lakers are coming through the ranks from the Ashanti Region with Kawanopado and Jejano-Anafo also coming out of their blocks to represent the Central Region.
Burma Camp is located at the heart of Ghana’s security zone and perhaps their zeal and strength accounted for their impressive showing in the Greater Accra qualifying series.
Their athleticism, team spirit and character, explosiveness and high scoring rate put them on pedestal as one of the huge favourites to clinch the ultimate diadem.
Burma Camp will certainly be a tough test for any team as it looks to kick off the competition with a dominant and impressive win.
Coach Raymond Maha has arguably the most impressive Community Dunks talents this year. It has five key players in Divine Adzakpo, Emmanuel Grunja, Mustapha Ahmed, Bright Zoranu and Hamza Usman.
These talents are described as the ‘fearsome five’ as they hammered their opponent with cheeky ease at the CYCC basketball court. The only team that can give them a stiff challenge will have to pull the chest nut out of the blazing fire to do the unthinkable.
The biggest key of shutting them down will be to force them out on the perimeter. The only disappointment will be the absence of Maamobi-Nima’s Treasure Botchwey.
The 13-year-old dribbling magician displayed MVP- caliber performances during the three week period that got him many admirers.
He has a non-stop motor around the basket. He attacks the glass for every rebound and always seems to find the best position possible from which to hit the boards.
Not only that, he is also a talented scorer down low.
But unfortunately his team –mates did not reward his effort as they crashed out of the competition with three defeats.
It could be safe to say that Burma Camp will be a difficult nut to crack and most likely to find itself on the podium at the end of the one-day tournament.
Dansoman have become regular customers in the Indomie Community Dunks and their previous three attempts have received enough reviews – clearly indicating their strong-willed spirit and determination to succeed.
With a background of players who come from affluent homes, training on an ultra-modern court has never been their headache and true to words proved their mettle during the qualifying series.
They never dropped a point as they scrolled to three successive victories in a group that comprised of two debutants- La and Adabraka as well as old horses James Town.
Their speed, strength, efficiency and consistency will be too much for their opponent to handle and that could be the foundation for an absolute dominant performance from the young boys.
However Dansoman have the tendency to crack under expectation and that could be their downfall.
Their ability to withstand pressure and live up to pre-match hype will prove the catalyst for their ambitions.
Cantonments will surely have their hands full when the finals roll out on September 8.
With an incredible feat in the past, Cantonments does not seem to possess the sort of quality and experienced players that helped them to clinch the title in 2009.
Despite winning two out of three games, coach Prosper Ablor’s young charges were uninspiring and that doesn’t bode well for the former Champions.
Cantonments didn’t have the easiest path to the finals though. It had to take down a heavily favoured James Town in their opening game and followed that up with a win over an impressive Adabraka side but succumbed to Burma Camp in their final group game.
They are a plucky side that nobody shouldn’t sleep on because if one does, they could squeak out a shocking win.
Led by captain Baffour Sekyere, Cantonment is an extremely athletic and agile team that wins games with suffocating defense on the perimeter and by pushing the pace in transition.
James Town’s greatest strength is undoubtedly its frontcourt tandem of Richmond Quanor and Emmanuel Lamptey who have been passed fit to play in the finals at the El-wak stadium.
While Cantonments was able to expose their lack of frontcourt depth in the regional qualifiers, they were able to counter and respond by amping up defense to beat Adabraka and La to ensure progress.
James Town would have to bring its ‘A’ game to the fore it if plans to make an impact at the one-day championship.
We will continue to notch up the strengthens and weaknesses of the other four teams from the Ashanti and Central Regions.