LIBERIA : A look back at LBF 2010

Written by Anthony A. Stephens

The LBF 2010 national championships may have come to an end but their fresh memories are still on the minds of many.

Star Sports has been retrospecting on how Uhuru Kings, Cestos Mogars, SOS Troters and K-Deltas got their hands around the first, second, third, and female division’s crowns.

The season mixed with pains, joys and smiles.

In truth, it started well for some big guns including Uhuru Kings and LPRC Oilers but the Kings were the most notable side as they went the entire first phase unbeaten.

They looked very comfortable there with those sparkling looking victories and even jump started the second phase with similar pace and pattern.

But their vigor for their first silverware in twelve years soon received an unthinkable and crazy punch in its face in April.

Uhuru Kings were condemned to their first league defeat by their great rivals NPA Deadly Pythons who they went on to face in the grand final.

The royal boys’ loss that fixture 61- 70 points to a recovering Pythons side that showed great power and strength on that faithful Sunday night.

It was a match in which the king’s expansive signing Mark Smith had less to offer to correspond with the cash that was thrown on the floor for him last season.

Uhuru Kings nightmare continued following that hard to believe defeat to the Deadly boys and were brought to their knees by another heavyweight in Liberian basketball in the form of LPRC Oilers-even though they beat them in the semi finals to sail through the big five.

So, as the king’s tails were being folded between their legs, Pythons grew in confidence and looked even more aggressive than ever.

The defending champion’s terrific comeback added some value to their title ambition and it helped them record some spectacular victories over the likes of Mighty Barrolle, Oilers, Commissioners and Flames.

Led by their talisman Rafael Quaye, Pythons took the headlines once more and their ascendency up the ladder was inevitable.

They however surrendered their spirited form all to a resurgence Uhuru Kings side in the big five spectacle which they started in glittering style.

The deadly boys apparently complacent with their two straight wins over the kings and knowing they were just a game away from putting their hands around a record fourth crown, got switched off in game three of the series.

It was in that outing that Uhuru Kings explained why it was their time to shine.

And victory on the evening meant all was well with them because they went on to pick up wins in the last two matches to celebrate the arrival of the long awaited silverware.

LPRC Oilers and Mighty Barrolle also brought some competitiveness to the party-holding the feet of NPA Pythons and Uhuru Kings to the fire and booking semi finals births with them.

It wasn’t really a season for the likes of Flames, Dream Team II, Commissioners, Monrovia Rockers and debutants Wild Cats, Wiloria Patriots and Urban Invaders who all struggled for fitness, composure and had generally less to offer the fray.

The second division category of the league also had some fire-burning memories to think about especially with the way it folded its wings.

It was all rosy for the likes of Monrovia Sky Force, St. Paul Crushers, Barnesville Celtics, Cardinals and Heats but they all had dreadful endings.

Sky Force on their first appearance in the league, were untouchable for almost the entire season, grabbing some priceless wins along their way to the much talked about big five.

But their 18 games winning streak was brought to an amazing halt by a courageous Cestos Mogars side who gave them some bitter pails to swallow.

Cestos Mogars came from the back of two defeats to end Monrovia Sky Force dream of a historic silverware and eared themselves the highly contested crown.

Though they won it in division three, SOS Trotters were made to work for their money as they were chased all the way to the grand final by Georgia Blazers, Ducor Magic and Deviers.

Most of the teams brought less to the occasion and made the race generally unbalanced.

Like the third division, the female component of the league was one sided and had less excitement with the bigger girls having almost the final commend and with most all of the new faces voluntarily giving out points.

This category was technically won by K-Deltas, beating their all time rivals Phoenix 2-0 in the big five after the two sides’ loss by forfeits in their opening two matches of the series.

The season was not as bad for C-Deltas as it was for the other new faces because they broke the old order and recorded an excellent start to their debut campaign, reaching as far as the big five.

Their rights of showcasing in the finals were however stripped off by the Technical Committee of the LBF who found them guilty for illegally fielding the controversial Amie Weah, with the player herself giving the back door for year.

C-Deltas also suffered a horrible six point deduction by the committee for their action.

The matter has however been taken to the Attrition Committee of the local Olympic committee for redress and if destiny goes their way there will be another female big five finals for the season.