The burgeoning 2016 season of the Accra Basketball League (ABL) has served up palatable dishes of mazy runs, dazzling ball handling skills and beyond the years talent to leave fans spell bound. The three rounds of “Gh” hoops thus far in Ghana’s capital city Accra has is yet to have defending champions Braves of CEPS lose in the Men’s Division I or the Women’s Division respectively.
Both sects have maneuvered tricky spells with consummate ease as they stay on course for yet another title haul. It must be noted, Customs have been champions in multiple seasons of the then Greater Accra Basketball Association League. Both teams have played two games apiece in the ongoing league with the male team dispatching Holy Family in the opening round before brushing Navy aside in the second week. The team’s 69-37 win over Holy Family was expected considering Family played the entire game without having any substitutes or coach.
Perhaps the notable moments in the game were created by Family’s fighting spirit to compete well in the first half before fatigue curtailed any chances of a nail biting finish. Behind Point Guard Adams and Center James Offei strong play, fans just had to fall in love with the team. However, Braves took care of business in typical dominant style with the likes of Baniba Dodzie, the Borsah brothers Richard, Enoch and Ebenezer, 2015 National Most Valuable Player Abdul Mutaleeb Alhassan and the experienced Paul Gomerli.
Against Navy, a 55-29 hammering was metered out by the defending champions who took a while before clicking into gear in the “usual” final quarters. The result was never in doubt when Braves stiffled Navy’s scoring threats David Asingar and Richard Tetteh. But for some questionable decisions by game officials which attracted the ire of coach Lawal Brimah. Navy Coach Alexander Tindani also had a few choice words for the officials. Despite losing shooting expert Farahat Tamimu to Fire Service, the team has clearly not missed a beat in its production.
The female side has fared well in the women’s division in similar fashion by beating Fire Service 58-30 in its’ opening encounter at the Prison’s Court in Cantonments, Accra prior to defeating Galaxy 37-24. The win was almost a carbon copy of the male team’s performance in the men’s division. Having lost the first quarter 6-11, Braves tied the game at 18 before half time and went on a run in the final quarters.
The team failed to make an impact in the earlier quarters as bigs Matilda Gordon warmed the bench and Gloria Gyampoh got into foul trouble. Their insertion into the game enabled Braves to play more in the post which hurt Galaxy’s chances of getting back in the game. Winning in the final quarters, has been a distinct feature of both Braves sides as noted by Point Guard Grace Doe; “Basketball is four quarters and if you win the first quarter, it is the end of the game; it happens. I would say CEPS (Customs) has been a team that wins games from third to fourth quarter”.
Braves look odds on favorites to once again dominate Ghana’s capital region.