The first round of the Accra Basketball League Playoffs tipped of yesterday 5th October 2016 at the Lebanon House, Tudu in Accra.
The first game was between the first seed, Braves of CEPS and the eight seed Rangers who are rookies in the first division. As expected, CEPS won the game easily 66 – 41.
The second game between Tema Youth Club and DC Dynamics, expectedly, proved to be more competitive. After sorting out a jersey clash between the Dynamics and the Referees, the game tipped off to what seemed initially like an easy game for the Tema based team. They opened up a 6-0 lead early and it was clear the Dynamics were struggling with the much bigger Tema Youth team. The Dynamics finally settled and closed the lead to one point only but Tema Youth gained the advantage again and ended the Quarter with a six point lead (11 – 5).
Dynamics struggled to get points in the second quarter and they were stuck on 5 points for about half of the quarter. Tema Youth in this quarter got a lot of help from their bench whilst loading the Dynamics with fouls. The first half ended 24 -11.
Dynamics opened the third quarter with an 8 – 0 run and forced a Tema Youth time out. Suddenly Lebanon House was alive at the prospect of a competitive game. It was indeed a big third quarter for the Dansoman based team as they closed the quarter 33- 30, only three points behind Tema Youth.
In the fourth, Tema Youth showed depth and experience and grilled their opponents on the boards and forced turnovers. Early in the fourth, Coach Rubberman’s team were up 7 points. The Dynamics fought back and stayed within striking distance.
With under two minutes to go, on a fast break play that seemed to most fans like a clean block, Dynamics got the call from the referee that gave them two free throws and possession afterwards. Unfortunately, Dynamics missed both and turned over the possession with an easy Tema Youth fastbreak. With one minute left and down 45-42, DC point guard was fouled shooting a three pointer. Once again, DC failed to score from the line and also turnover the possession they gained soon after. Tema Youth small forward, Kwame, hit one out of two from the line and that was enough for the Tema Youth to grind out the playoff win 47 – 42.
The second set of first round games will be played on Thursday October 6 , 2016 and the same venue. In the first game , Tudu Magic will take on Prisons and in the second game, Fire Service will play Navy.