The long awaited and heavily anticipated start of the first professional basketball league in Cape Verde has finally arrived. Today, July 3rd, 2021, is opening day of the inaugural season of the Praia Basketball League. The first day is packed with three games slated to tip off at three, five and seven pm Cape Verdean international time.
The first matchup is between the Achada Grande Volcanico and the Achada Panthers at three pm. This matchup is set to be a battle of back courts between the Volcanicos’ Nasir Core, Jawan Stepney and the Panthers’ Nick Manor Hall, Taras Carter. Both duos have high energy motors and aggressive scoring ability however, the pair with the best cohesion will come away with the win. Along with a back court battle both teams also have a big that will be set to be a David and goliath type of battle. The Volcanicos’ Cam Carter can score inside and out with a soft touch around the rim. The 6’8 big will be facing off against a 6’6 Anthony Lane whose heart and drive outweigh many players skillset. KT’s Cocky selection for this game is the Achada Grande Volcanico pulling away with a close but firm win over the Achada Panthers, final score 63-55. Standout spotlight, Cam Carter with a 18 point 12 rebound double double.
The second game of the day is between the Ponta D’Agua Gorillas and CB Cidadela. In a matchup that many are calling game of the day, star first overall pick Paris Collins with his twin tower front court of Zoran Talley and Flavio Fonseca plan to come out to a hot start. However, facing off against the duo scoring wing tandem of Rodriques Palmer and Mario Williams will not be an east feat. The Gorillas match up well height and size wise with Allex Austin and Nilton Gomes towering the paint. KT’s Cocky selection for this game is the Ponta D’Agua Gorillas shocking what some call the team to beat early in the season, final score 52-48. Standout spotlight, Mario Williams with 25 points and 8 assists.
The last game of the day is set to tip off at 7pm and is a highly touted matchup between the Plateau Warriors and the Palmarejo Sharks. A local community favorite, the Palmarejo Sharks have an evenly spread roster with big man Malik Miller leading the charge alongside Charles boozer and local Cape Verdean wing Alwyn Sylva. However, the Palteau Warriors have a two-man guard and big combo that can rival any other for league’s best. With guard Joshua Yorke-Frazer running the show alongside the versatile stretch big Andre Jackson this matchup has upset potential written all over. KT’s cocky selection is the Palmarejo Sharks having too much fire power for the Plateau Warriors to keep up, final score 58-47. Standout spotlight, Malik Miller 22 points,13 rebounds and 4 assists.
Kyler “KT” Thompson
Praia League Analyst