Basketball: Tigers maul Owls, again

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Three consecutive grand finals against Barking Owls, three consecutive premierships for Tigers.

Picture by Dave Polette

There were dramatic scenes in the final few minutes of the Albany Basketball Association men’s A-grade grand final on Saturday, but Tigers continued their stranglehold on the premiership cup by coming from behind to defeat Barking Owls.

Owls led by a single point at half-time and were still a point in front with 2min. 25sec. left on the clock.

However, in the most crucial %period of the match, Owls could not produce a basket in the final two minutes as the defending premiers made them pay from the free-throw line to score a narrow four-point win.

Exciting guard Daniel Powell dropped a second bomb, from outside the arc, to hand Owls the lead.

Tigers’ Corey Hill then added a free throw to level scores, which was followed up by a trademark bucket from John Santia that had the crowd on their feet.

Martino de Giambattista was then fouled, but failed to make either of his free throws, only for Tigers Ben Polette to nail both his free throws in transition with just 16.8sec. remaining.

Owls skipper Justin Benson, who had been in damaging form all night, threw up a three-point attempt which missed.

Benson then intercepted the next Tigers’ pass but his shot from deep in the court on the buzzer missed handing Tigers the win 38-34.

Post-match, Tigers captain Tim Button said the team’s defence was awesome and the best it had been all year.

“We were stoked to win one, two was amazing but three is just unbelievable,” he said.

Grand final most valuable player Benson said his side did not have enough fouls to get Tigers to the line in the final minutes and shot poorly from the charity stripe.

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