The Philly Cannons opened up the 2019 American Basketball Association (ABA) playoffs with a 115-104 victory over the visiting NEPA Stars and Stripes on Saturday at the Christy Recreation Center in West Philadelphia. The Cannons (11-5) now will face the West Chester Wildcats, who defeated the Roanoke Rising Stars 133-127 Saturday evening in Roanoke, Virginia.
Philadelphia received a combined 51 points from backcourt mates Ramair “Juice” Garner (25 points, 7 three pointers) and Rell Harrington (26 points, 5 three pointers) as the Cannons pulled away in the 3rd quarter opening up a 20-point lead. “I thought we missed a lot of layups, had a few defensive lapses, and had some unforced turnovers that made the game more difficult for us than it should have… but we shot the ball well today from deep and made plays when we had to,” said Head Coach Roger Beckwith, who scored his first ABA playoff victory in the franchises third season in the league.
The Cannons, who hit 16 three pointers combined, also received double figure performances from Andre Rivers (17 points off the bench), Shawn Green (12), and Deione “Dex” Latham (10). “I tend not to worry about our offense too much; if we focus in on defense that typically leads to transition points which gets us going offensively,” said Beckwith.
The Cannons will host the West Chester Wildcats this Friday, March 22, 2019 at a yet to be determined site and time in Philadelphia. This will be the third meeting between the Cannons and the Wildcats this season with Philadelphia leading the rivalry 2-0. “It’s survive and advance at this point in the season and neither Philly nor West Chester is ready to start the offseason,” offered Coach Beckwith.