Rongotai Romp To First Title In Two Decades
For the first time since 1998, Rongotai College are Pohlen Cup champions after an emphatic 85-69 victory over St Pats Town.
Rousing slam dunks by Ben Robertson and Jayden Puroku in the last minute applied the exclamation mark on Rongotai’s eighth overall championship. Rongotai made an electric start charging to a 29-12 lead after the first quarter. Rongotai’s defensive intensity and rapid ball movement had Town startiled as the lead expanded to as many as 24 points in the second quarter.
Jaylin To’o scored Rognotai’s first five points and finished with a game high 24, but there were multiple contributors in amassing the decisive lead. Diminutive and speedy guards Ezrah Vaigafa and Finn McClure shared 26 points between them while Robertson, a beast on the boards, chimed in with 10 and Klein Salmon nailed three triples in the last quarter to finnish with 13.
Town captain Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones produced a herculean effort following his haul of 40 points in the semi-final with 24 in the decider. Tait-Jones scored Town’s first eight points and he contributed several assists with a particularly effective no-look pass. Filimone Waqabaca ended with a flourish and collect 23.
The closest Town got after the lead ballooned past ten was 80-69 with about three minutes remaining. There was no question about the fight of the runners up, but Rongotai when they combine speed with precision are thoroughly entertaining and effective.