Junior Flemmings’ 81st-minute strike saw Tivoli Gardens to a 2-1 win over rivals Boys’ Town in their Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) west Kingston derby at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex yesterday. Miguel Ricketts fired the home team in front after 22 minutes, but Peter Keyes equalised for the ‘Red Brigade’ on 62 minutes. However, Flemmings latched on to a pass late on and hammered a low shot past Mikhail Harrison in goal. It was only Flemmings’ second west Kingston derby at senior level, but as a resident of the community, he knows all about this fixture. “Tivoli Gardens playing Boys’ Town or Arnett Gardens is always a tough one, but we really did well. We dug deep to come out with the win, so kudos to the team,” the young striker told The Gleaner. His experience from his recent call-up for the Panama and Haiti World Cup qualifiers was a great learning curve, and he was eager to show what he had learned. PLENTY LEARNT “Being around the professionals in the national team, I really learned a lot, especially from the ones overseas, and I said that I have to transfer that mental aspect to my game and my approach to life, and I am getting there. I just have to keep working hard,” he reasoned. “It is not easy to leave schoolboy football and come into the Premier League playing against bigger, stronger guys with more experience. But I came here and worked and left the rest to God, and game by game, I will continue to work hard and, hopefully, the goals will come,” he said. Tivoli went ahead when Ricketts turned his marker and fired past Harrison. Carlos Wright thought he had found the equaliser minutes later, but he was offside. However, little past the hour, Peter Keyes fired a deflected shot past Edsel Scott from a quickly taken free kick. Boys’ Town were the stronger team after that and looked more threatening, but Flemmings broke away and fired a ferocious shot past Harrison to seal the win. Meanwhile, Portmore United climbed to the top of the standings after a 3-2 win over St Catherine rivals Rivoli. Portmore now have 27 points, two more than MoBay United, who were held 0-0 by UWI. Waterhouse and Reno drew 2-2.
Related story: Gibson coming homeVideo:Elie Seckbach SAN JOSE – There was black-and-blue style ruggedness and incredible intensity and game-planning on defense. The offensive side was rarely pretty, but the results could not be argued. That is how coach Ben Howland built UCLA. And before that, it is how Howland built Pittsburgh, with the help of then assistant and now Panthers head coach Jamie Dixon. There are certain similarities so striking – such as the same verbiage used to call some plays – many billed today’s meeting between the second-seeded Bruins and the third-seeded Panthers in the NCAA Tournament West region semifinals at HP Pavilion as a mirrored matchup. However, the offensive side appears to be a contrast in styles. Since Howland’s arrival from Pittsburgh four seasons ago, UCLA has been a guard-oriented offense which often forgets NCAA rules permit its center to post up and score. Meanwhile, back in the steel city, the Panthers’ offensive focus was mastered around 7-foot, 270-pound senior center Aaron Gray. “We have different personnel,” UCLA wing Josh Shipp said. “They emphasize defense just like we do. I can see where people get the similarities from, but it’s different personnel that is used differently.” Pittsburgh point guard Levance Fields said he often watched UCLA on television and said, “you can call out the plays,” but rarely does a Bruins possession end with its center scoring on a low-post move. Afflalo said: “We are striving to become a better inside team, but our guards have really dominated our scoring. We are a little different.” Howland spent four seasons developing Pittsburgh into a nasty group of defensive artists and rebounding fools. Offense was the Panthers crutch in the NCAAs, and Gray is trying to make sure that is not the case again. He is averaging 14 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, and again the ability to double-team a talented big man will be central to the success of the smaller Bruins. Gray attempted a team-leading 350 shots, converting on 56.9 percent of them. Despite Howland’s declaration in the minutes after the second-round win against Indiana that UCLA is “going to be left one-on-one with Aaron Gray a lot because he passes so well,” the Bruins are ready to double team him with 6-9 center Lorenzo Mata and 6-8 power forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Secondary to Gray’s scoring is the perimeter play of guards Antonio Graves, Fields and Ronald Ramon. Pittsburgh’s top three outside threats combined to shoot 38.9 percent in Big East play. “I think our team is so deep, it’s pick your poison,” Pittsburgh 6-10 senior power forward Levon Kendall said. “You can double-team Aaron, but he’s a good enough passer, a smart enough guy, that he can open things up. We’ve dealt with that all year.” UCLA’s double teaming of Gray will be different than what UCLA employed against Indiana’s big man D.J. White, who wasn’t double-teamed until he dribbled and turned his shoulder toward the basket. “(Gray) has to be double-teamed,” UCLA reserve power forward/center Alfred Aboya said. “He’s big. We will have to double team, and it will be tough to double team him because he’s a great passer. “We have to be aggressive. We can’t give him any room to dribble, or throw the ball. “He’s very quick. With D.J. we had to wait. But with him, we have to double as soon as he catches the ball.” While the Panthers’ first look is always inside, the Bruins often fail to even acknowledge Mata, who is averaging 4.4shots (145 total) and scoring 6.8 points per game. Instead, the perimeter-oriented Bruins rely heavily on their backcourt for scoring. Afflalo leads the Bruins with 16.7 points per game and has attempted nearly threetimes as many shots as Mata. Shipp (327 shots) and point guard Darren Collison (285) are UCLA’s next two leading scorers at 13.2 and 12.8 points per game and dwarf Mata’s shot attempts. Even reserve wing Michael Roll (160 shots) took more shots that Mata. “They’re probably a little bit taller than us, and that’s something we haven’t seen,” Collison said. “We have to get over it, and we have to play with our brains and play smarter because we have to match their physical intensity.” firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!