By Frederick HalleySVC All Stars made it two in a row with a resounding 71-run victory over New York Softball Cricket League (NYSCL), the same opponents they defeated in last year’s Independence Cup final, when the NYSCL annual tournament climaxed at Baisley Pond Park, Queens, New York on Sunday.The well-oiled SVC All Stars unit, who played unbeaten in the competitive three-day tournament, reserved their best performance for the final after receiving a scare from upstarts Unruly in Saturday’s semi-final played at the same venue.Led by consistent scores from their top-order batsmen, SVC All Stars reached a respectable 159 for eight in their allotted 20 overs after losing experienced campaigners Chien Gittens (two) and Andrew Gonsalves (nine) with 38 on the board in the sixth over. They also lost opener Richard Latiff (20) at 45 for three before Surujpaul Deosarran (13) went caught by skipper Eon Ellis as SVC All Stars slipped to 63 for four in 10.5 overs.Patrick Rooplall and V.J Surujpaul, however, averted further inroads with a fine fifth-wicket partnership of 65 in just under seven overs with the former hitting 26 off 29 balls, which contained three fours and a six while Surujpaul’s top-score of 39 off just 20 balls was spiced with three fours and two sixes.Surujpaul’s bold innings ended in the 18th over, bowled by the persistent Murph Seeram while Rooplall, who came in at number five, departed in the final over, caught by Murphy Ramnath off Dane Glasgow.Teenager Nishal Dhaniram, who caused the early damage, ended with two for 29 from his four overs while Seeram, who got rid of Gonsalves and Surujpaul, claimed two for 27. Glasgow also got into the act with two for 31.MVP Richard Latiff receives his award from one of the sponsors.Latiff caused an early scare in the NYSCL reply, shattering the stumps of Wasim Aslim (six) in the third over but two run-outs, that of opener Amar Singh (31) and number three batsman Zamal Khan (12) at 58 and 64, in consecutive overs (ninth and 10th) put a damper in NYSCL’s chase.It was a steady procession thereafter, with skipper Bobby Prahalad, who surprisingly came on as the fifth bowler, wreaking havoc, as the middle- and lower-order succumbed to his searing pace.Prahalad finished with the impressive figures of four for nine from just two overs, shattering the stumps of Seeram (0) and Dhaniram with his 11th and 12th deliveries, as NYSCL folded in 15 overs. He had earlier sent back Raja Parsram (one) and Ellis (one). Latiff took two for 16 from his four overs.SVC All Stars’ Latiff was adjudged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the tournament, tallying 81 runs and capturing eight wickets while he also copped the man-of-the-match in the final. NYSCL’s Rohit Dutchin made the most runs (171) with a top score of 120 versus Schenectady. He received three awards in the process.Nishal Dhaniram claimed the most wickets (16) and also took six for 31 against Schenectady, the best figures in the Open category while his NYSCL teammate Zamal Khan, a former Guyana Under-19 batsman, was rewarded for his century (109) versus Unruly.At the presentation ceremony, NYSCL president Eric Ferrier thanked all the teams for their participation also commending the umpires for a fine job. Ferrier also reserved special praise for the several sponsors and the many volunteers who made the annual three-day activities possible.
Walton has already had to defend his handling of Ball in light of criticism from LaVar Ball, who has said on multiple occasions that his son would find a rhythm and lead the Lakers to more wins if he played all 12 minutes of the fourth quarter.A certain irony can be found in the chasm between how LaVar Ball wants Walton to coach his son and how he is actually doing it. Beyond LaVar, Lonzo Ball might have no greater advocate than his head coach.On Friday, Walton said he believes Ball, who is shooting 32.1 percent from the field and is averaging 8.6 points per game, is capable of become a top scorer in the NBA – something many have begun to doubt based on early returns.Walton pointed to Ball’s unique skills in transition and how, on his best nights, he is able to get to the rim.“He’s got such a good knack for getting those shots,” Walton said. “You add that with the ability that I think he’s going to be a fine NBA 3-point shooter as well. It makes for the ability to be a very good scorer.“I think he’ll always want to pass first, which will also lead to him having scoring opportunities because defenders are going to be more worried about guarding their own man.”Walton said he has not seen Ball suffer any ill effects from the fluctuating minutes, which is consistent with the image of the rookie as unperturbed by any of the twaddle surrounding him.“He was on the bench supporting his teammates,” Walton said. “He was in the locker room after the game laughing with the guys. I know he wants to be on the court, and he’s really good at finishing games. He proved that in (Thursday’s win in) Philly.“But part of being on a team is being happy for your teammates when they’re having success.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error NEW YORK — If anyone other than a certain parent objects to Lonzo Ball’s minutes during the fourth quarter of Lakers games, they aren’t saying it.“That’s what the team is for,” Lonzo Ball said after the Lakers pulled away from the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday to win 110-99 while Ball and starting center Brook Lopez watched from the bench in the final period.The Lakers outscored Charlotte 34-24, and sixth man Jordan Clarkson capably handled point guard responsibilities while scoring 14 of his team-high 22 points.“When JC came in, he was cookin’ tonight,” Ball said following the win. “We rolled with him, and I’m glad we did.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe exclusion of Ball from fourth-quarter activities is bound to draw attention, however. Coach Luke Walton, who routinely defends his point guard’s development, bristled at another question about leaving Ball on the bench, a lineup decision he has made on several other occasions this season.“Lots of people don’t play in the fourth,” Walton said. “And … reporters only point out that Lonzo doesn’t play.”Walton pointed to Lopez, who was kept out in the fourth in Charlotte after scoring 13 points through three quarters, as well as starting shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who was on the floor late Saturday but on other nights has been on the bench in crunch time.Those two players account for $40 million in salary. Walton is right, their occasional absences are not in line with preseason expectations. However, they do not have cheerleaders with a national platform clamoring for a larger fourth-quarter role, as Ball does in the form of his father LaVar.“There’s lots of starters who aren’t playing in the fourth,” Walton said. “Depending on how the group (on the floor) goes. We’ve got a lot of players who are very similar in what they can do, as far as where they’re at in their careers, and if someone’s going we’re going to let them go.”