Opoku Ware School’s Emmanuel Opare and Emmanuel “Ghost” Agyapong headline basketball pundit McMartey Lawer’s top five players at the 2016 Sprite Ball Championship.

St. Augustine’s College beat Mfantsipim School 37-22 in the final game to claim its’ first championship in the nine year old basketball event.

Lawer, who worked as a commentator at the championship went with a small line up which featured Pope John’s Senior High’s Emmanuel Dery at Shooting Guard, St. Thomas Aquinas Senior High School’s Ashietey Ollenu at Power Forward and Dennis “Mantse” Dugbennu from St. Augustine’s College at Center.

The small-ball lineup surprisingly did not feature any member from four time winner Mfantsipim particularly Fans Most Valuable Player runner up Small Forward Kofi Aboagye Acheampong.

Describing the 2016 Sprite Ball Championship as a “cracker”, McMartey professed his difficulty in scaling down the competitive roster down to just five players.

“As a commentator its very difficult not to take sides, especially when my Alma Mater Accra Academy is in the mix, but these are the players that I feel were most exciting to watch and had fans at the edge of their seats” he said.

Below is a rundown of McMartey Lawer’s Top 5:

Emmanuel Opare (Opoku Ware School) Point Guard

The diminutive second year guard was never afraid to let it fly from deep as he coasted to establish himself as one of the more reliable shooters in the competition. Part of an impressive backcourt featuring penetrating shooting guard Nana Agyei Fritete, Opare will have one final chance at capturing the Sprite Ball Trophy in next year’s edition.

Emmanuel Dery (Pope John’s Senior High School and Junior Seminary) Shooting Guard

A high jumping background does have a hand in the “2” man’s impressive hang time. However, Dery’s game was more than athleticism. His shooting range stretched beyond the three-point arc just as his ability to set teammates up.

Emmanuel Agyapong (Opoku Ware School) Small Forward

Anytime this guy touched the ball, massive chants of “Ghost” resonated throughout El-Wak Stadium. The Canadian-born Ghanaian youngster lived up to expectations as he relentlessly attacked opponents with superb ball handling skills and confidence. Unfortunately, he couldn’t steer OWASS to the final.

Ashietey Ollenu (St. Thomas Aquinas Senior High) Power Forward

The fans Most Valuable Player of the tournament will travel to South Africa later this year as expanding his massive fan pool looks set to continue. The lanky Forward single handedly steered Aquinas to an unlikely quarter final appearance before falling to Mfantsipim. His infectious play in four games cemented his position as a rising star in the country.


Dennis Dugbennu (St. Augustine’s College) Center

Real name does not ring a bell but “Mantse” his nickname surely does. The powerful and athletic front court presence willed Augustine’s to its’ first national title with dominant performances like the final game where he recorded 26 points, 16 rebounds and 3 steals. Little wonder he was adjudged the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament.


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