Saint Vincent and the Grenadines earned the title of ECVA champs with a narrow (3-2) win over Antigua and Barbuda in the finals on Sunday evening.
It was a classic finals with fortunes swinging one way and then another and in the end the scoreboard of (22-25, 25-13, 26-24, 20 – 25 and 15-12) in favour of SVG.
The Vincentians displayed true grit and determination and the stats may not show that they were the team which never gave up; they scrambled, dived and ran down every loose ball to earn the additional point.
What the stats would show is that they were also capable of efficient passing and execution at the net.
As a team, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines edged Antigua and Barbuda in Spikes 51- 50 as well as Serves 10 – 8. They trailed in Blocks 7 to 17 but errors were dead even at 32.
Franklyn Asmond led the individual scoresheet with 27 points made up of 23 spikes and 4 aces. Meanwhile Ronaldo Franklyn supported with 21 and Daryl Frankly chipped in with 11 points.
For Antigua Barbuda Opposite Hitter Adrian Constant matched the game high score of 27 points with 23 spikes 2 blocks and 2 aces. Three other players contributed in double figures – Jamarie James 15 points, Rixon Joseph 12 points and Collin Thomas 10 points but all these efforts were in vain as the team came up short.
Antigua/Barbuda: “I am distraught the players are distraught we had it… we had it”, wailed Coach Carl Williams. “We demonstrated what we are capable by coming from 6 points down at 18 to 12 in the fourth set to come back and win to force the decider. We made another herculean run in the deciding game after falling behind again but it just did not work out for us”, he surmised.
A gleeful Eardley Martin of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was grinning from ear to ear. “We came here greedy and now we are satisfied. We were hyped from the win over Saint Lucia last night but today the victory is even sweeter as this is championship. I am so proud of them for having overcome every obstacle including our own internal squabbles. The captain must be commended for this as we moved from playing as a unit to playing as a family”, he stated.
At the close of the ECVA men’s competition 12 individual awards were up from grabs. Second place Antigua Barbuda took 6 of the 12 awards and the remainder was split evenly between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia.
Antigua/Barbuda’s libero in Yashid Auguste was the most decorated taking three awards- the best digger, best receiver, and best libero.
Of the 5 libero’s featured he had 56 excellent and ended with an average of 3.11 per set. The next in line had 18 excellents for an average of .95. His stats as a digger was well beyond the second place person in 17 digs compared to 6 while his receiving reflected that he had 39 excellents in 94 receptions, Once again this was far superior to the second place person. The best setter went to their captain Collin Thomas. He had 75 running sets and 229 still sets at an overall average of 4. 17 per set.Jahmal Small (of SVG) was a distant second with 3.37 per set. The best Opposite was easily Adrian Constant with 56 spikes while Jamarie James was listed as a winner in the Opposite Hitter category with 49.
Saint Lucia had winners in Joseph Clercent as the leading Outside Hitter with 60 spikes. Tervin St. Jean took home 2 awards – best server where he had 14 aces for an average of .88 by set. He also received an award for best blocker with a .50 average by set.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines grabbed the top award for Best Blocker in Deandre Quashie with .53 average by set. However the man of the moment was Asmond Franklyn with 83 points overall as the best scorer and later doubled his tally when he earned the coveted MVP Award.
The final team positions were:- 1. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2. Antigua and Barbuda. 3. Saint Lucia. 4 Grenada 5. Saint Kitts and Nevis 6. BVI.