The Cape Coast-based side presented a clean bill of health for the competition as their crème de la crème players lived up to their pre-match hype.
Their roster was clouded with teeming depth, length, strength and plain hard-to-guard talents that actually managed to overshoot the worst fears of some experts during their Central region exhibition swing, notably when they slumped to Djejeano-Anafo.
While their lack of proven centres outside of the court, players of Kawanopado showed their desire to win the competition and wasted no time in stating their case with a solid defensive and attacking flair.
No one questioned the credentials of coach Claudios Thompson’s charges. He had a cluster of players with the experience and expertise to upset any team on the day. They had some few close calls in the competition but managed to scale the hurdle by the skin of the teeth.
The availability of Anthony Duodu, Benjamin Sagoe and Daniel Owusu played a key role for the team as they strolled to an epic victory.
The combination of athleticism, length and intensity forced a ridiculous amount of turnovers.
It was a full group effort – the defensive pressure was ferocious everywhere, with guys like Owusu and Sagoe the more aggressive on the court, carrying sharply less offensive responsibility in the team.
It really can’t be overstated that Kawanopado experimented with their positional revolution and the ‘golden generation’ of the exciting side were overly selfish at times.
There are a bunch of factors that give you pause about their squad: age, lack of size, lack of depth and declining speed.
But the aforementioned negatives were tempered by positives like chemistry, superb offensive execution, passing, high basketball IQ and experience.
Their inability to deal with quicker guards who can shoot and take advantage of their plodding zone was one of their weaknesses.
Secondly, they struggled against athletic teams and that was evident during the first two quarters of their final game against Kumasi-based Kwadaso.
There is no one big reason for the weakness, but rather a variety of small one. Kawanopado didn’t commnit many turnovers, but quicker teams took advantage of a steal on the break, largely because they concentrated on their defense in the lane and were not able to get back on time.
One other reason is that the team relied on dominating the rebounding as one of their strengths, but lacked the big guys on the block who could vacuum all of the boards in sight.
Rather they relied again on strong team building, and having guards in the right position to grab the hustle rebounds.
But when other teams have bigger guards who can jump higher, it eliminates that advantage for the Kawanopado.
The coastal-based side were generally good about getting to the line, and will usually beat or at least equal their opponent in trips to the charity stripe.
But when they faced more athletic teams, their players were usually not strong or quick enough to draw a foul when running into the paint, limiting Kawadnopado’s offense.
Despite their setback they managed to lift the cup by scruff off the neck with some coordinated offensive display.