The adrenalin is pumping high ahead of Jump Ball at the El-Wak Sports Stadium and the Aviation Social Centre respectively.
How many of the 24 participating teams can legitimately pull that off is a matter of debate, but we can all agree that trotting out a special edition of BASKETBALLghana.com Power Rankings- listing the top five boys’ teams can’t be a bad thing. Right?
With an enviable record to their stock, the Cape Coast-based school are gradually losing track of the number of titles they’ve won both at the regional and national level.
With a basketball CV that any team would be proud of, Mfantsipim are simply born winners.
Five titles in total is no mean achievement and Mfantsipim will go into the competition as the odd-on favourite to clinch their third national title in three years.
Their energy, passion and work ethics cannot be flawed.
Even without a number of their key players, coach Francis Kumatia’s roster is teeming with depth, length, strength and plain hard-to-guard talent that actually managed to overshoot the worst fears of some doubters during the six-game winning run enroute to be crowned champions in January this year.
They head into the championship as the irresistible favourite to clinch the title in the capital but would have to guard against complacency if they are to lift their third consecutive title.
- Keta Senior School (Ketaso)
The Volta Regional-based school have flattered to deceive at the national level over the past three years.
Their ability play in three finals, speaks volumes of their pedigree and surely one of the sure bet to fight for the title.
The Keta team are certainly due after a few close calls against Mfantsipim in 2010 and 2011.
They have also been decimated by the departure of key players including Flavio but that could prove little in their quest to wrestle the title from Mfantsipim.
Is the silver medal favourite healthy enough to take advantage of its size to edge team Mfantsipim? Do the Ketasco have enough shooting to space floor around the bigs? Those are legitimate questions.
- Prempeh College
And that’s good enough for us to bump them ahead of Koforidua Secondary Technical School and into the medal reaches of the pre-tournament rankings.
It will however be fair to say that Koforidua Secondary Technical School’s semi-final contest against Mfantsipim still goes down in the history books as arguably the most exciting contest witnessed so far.
That notwithstanding, Prempeh have shown discipline on the court, finding themselves in the medal zone over the past two years, is no small achievement.
Although depth and size are issues, I’m not going to be the guy who writes off a group that when you have names like Bernard Ofori and George Forson next, their coach’s demands respect at this level.
- Koforidua Secondary Technical School, (KSTS)
This roaster thanks in part to the departures of absence of seasoned big player like Emmanuel Ekow Amoako, lacks the depth and know-how of the KSTS squad that racked up gold in the Eastern Regional Championship two years ago.
But having been there and tasted top-flight action over the past few years, KSTS will be one of the side’s to beat.
They have boosted their ranks after impressive power forward Emmanuel Wolf joined them.
He will be expected to spearhead their title challenge.
- Presbyterian Boys Senior High, Accra
The Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School head coach Moses Peters has been one of the most respected coaches, blessed with the ability of his current squad to trot out sizes everywhere you look on the floor.
They won the maiden edition of the Sprite Ball Championship in 2007 but have sunk into oblivion, falling down the pecking order.
But after seeing them secure qualification in their Greater Accra zone 2 championship, Presec will be a difficult nut to crack.
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