However, the opposite happened late in the final quarter of an exhilarating game as Coldstore lost 58-63 to Heat despite virtually leading the entire game.
Playing its maiden Finals, Heat looked overwhelmed for long stretches in the fixture and played same to the frustration of Coach Richard Bensah and the partisan crowd gathered at the Tema Community 4 Court earlier tonight.
While Heat had a jerky start to the game, the Nungua side uncharacteristically failed to click in the final minutes committing turnovers and making questionable plays and Heat exploited those mistakes.
The 2016 Champions need to win Game 2 on December 2 to avoid a sweep and keep hope alive for a second league title.
Coldstore’s Kwame Boamah delivered three blocks highlighted by a big rejection to keep Nungua’s 6-5 lead intact before Emmanuel Wolff hit a corner three point shot to extend Coldstore’s lead. Benjamin Owari got a jump shot to tie the first quarter score at 8.
Kontor Appiah scored a three pointer for Coldstore and Heat answered with a layup from Prosper Dorsu. Nungua led 17-14 at half time as both teams were guilty of missing shots despite having clean looks at the rim.
After a poor display in the second quarter Kofi Agyei starred in the early minutes of the third quarter to extend Nungua’s lead to eight (24-16). Agyei drained a three pointer and delivered a big two handed slam.
Kwame Opoku added a couple of baskets from the field and a another pair from the free throw line. Owari delivered the highlight play of the game with a wicked crossover on Opoku and finished it off with a tear drop shot. Coldstore led 41-28.
Heat opened the final quarter on an 8-2 run to trail 36-40. Andrews Ayienab drained a three pointer for Heat to trail by three (41-46) and Karim Awudu scored back to back shots from three point range to keep Heat within just a point of Coldstore’s lead (50-51) with three minutes left to play.
Djan scored an impossible shot to put Coldstore in the lead but Fred Yeboah tied it up at 54 from the free throw line. Heat Center Prosper Dorsu converted four crucial baskets deep in the fourth quarter and Owari added another to win 63-58.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter