For many, the writing was on the wall and on Thursday, November 14 at the Prisons Court in Cantonments, Accra, Adenta Leopards announced its arrival on the big stage.
Leopards beat defending Accra Basketball League (ABL) Champions Braves of Customs 65-57 after coming close on quite a number of occasions to beat Customs in previous games recently.
This was in Game One of a possible three game Finals Series to determine the winner of the 2019 Men’s Division I campaign.
Thomas Amedeku scored a three pointer to open the game and Daniel Aryee scored a layup in response. Kontor Appiah and Jame Pappoe traded baskets. Muhaimin Guba drained of his patented layups; Daniel Ayarna scored a layup off a missed shot. Adenta led 7-6 with 3:25 minutes remaining. Amedeku added another three pointer off a Braves turnover to give Leopards a 12-6 first quarter lead.
Hashim Brimah scored a
floater after Abdul Mutaleeb Alhassan’s layup. Appiah scored a three pointer in
between those shots. Alhassan completed a three point play as Braves trailed
15-17 with 5:27 minutes left in the half. Adenta went on a five point run
including a three pointer from Kwame Opoku. Zakari Alhassan ended the run.
Opoku scored a three pointer in a five point run to give Leopards a 30-17 first
Nii Kwatey Quartey scored a jumper but Leopards got a tear drop layup for Adenta. Pappoe powered his way into Leopards defense to score and Kofi Asirifi added a three pointer in a good run for Braves. The team trailed 24-32 with 6:18 minutes remaining.
Amedeku checked back in the game and instantly hit a deep shot. Opoku hit another three pointer for Adenta as Quartey and Aryee got buckets for Braves in a frenzy sequence. Asirifi hit a three pointer with his side trailing 33-42 with 2:16 minutes remaining.
Fred Asante and Amedeku scored for Adenta; Mutaleeb Alhassan drained a three pointer and Brimah added a jumper but converted one of two free throws to end the third quarter trailing 40-46.
The teams traded baskets from deep; Leopards three pointer came off a brilliant crossover from Opoku on Mutaleeb Alhassan. Samuel Abbey scored free throws to trim Braves deficit to five points but Kontor Appiah scored an uncontested three pointer to make the score Adenta 57-51 with 3:04 minutes left to play. Abubakar and Mutaleeb Alhassan scored for Braves with the team trailing 54-59 with 1:54 remaining.
Opoku scored on two free throws to give Adenta a 63-57 lead with 35 seconds to play. Appiah stole the ball to score a fast break layup and seal the famous for Leopards.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter