Coach of the 2015 Antigua & Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) Playoff champions, Bradbury Browne, has labelled this year’s title as the most rewarding of his career.
Browne, who coached F&G Cuties Ovals to a 3-2 series victory over Baldwin Braves, which won game five, 86-77, on Saturday night, said the victory is rooted deep in the community.
“I won with Ovals in the Third Division and Second Division, but the First Division has always eluded us so to win it with … it’s really satisfying. I am really happy with the community, the organisation and as Mr Steadroy Benjamin said, he has been with the team since Bryan and I were little boys,” he said.
“I’m proud we could do something because I saw some people from the community watching us that I have never seen come to a game before during the season, so it was really a proud moment for us,” the coach added.
The victory was Ovals’ first in the top division and national player Bryan “Hollywood” Matthew said their present fortunes came only through hard work and dedication.
“We started from the Second Division, putting it together to get a good unit up to the First Division and it manifested this year and it took a while but we got there. It’s about the chemistry and how we do things and somewhat, we are kind of family oriented. We respect each other, we do things professionally and I think that’s what people strive for; for some sort of confidence in everything they do,” he said.
Veteran player Marlon “Buju” Charles credited fans with playing a huge role in the team’s victory.
“I want to say thanks to the fans that come out because without them I don’t think we could have pulled it off because Braves have their fans and if we didn’t have (fans) I think we would be struggling. Thanks again for everybody who came out and supported basketball,” the former national player said.
Braves took game one of the series (80-70) before Ovals rebounded to take games two (70-65) and three (63-60). Braves levelled the series with an 81-77 victory in game four before Ovals claimed the title in game five.