Fans no doubt are who athletes do all they can to impress. It is a joy of an athlete to have a huge follow base and it gladdens the heart to hear the fans chanting your name or that of your team.
It is no surprise that both teams has a huge following especially since both has been around for a long time in the scene of Liberia basketball. Bushrod Bulls fans are mainly from the populace community of Logan Town where also a bulk of their players are from.
In recent times, Friends of Liberia Basketball and others even contributed to build a home-court for the Bushrod Bulls which is located in the Bing Yard in Logan Town.
IN our recent post we elaborated on the incident surrounding the match stoppage and the rescheduled match set for Saturday January 8, 2021.
Before the start of the match fans from both sides had already filled the areana. To compensate for the generator issued which prematurely ended the first encounter, ticket price was slashed by half. This enabled many more fans the luxury of attending the rematch.
When both teams took the floor, the noise and chants from the fans where so deafening that it drowned the PA system which was playing music in the background.
“Basketball is back!” Coach Assad of the Mighty Barrole uttered. His presence there as usual is to watch the style of his opponents to better prepare for future meet.
The game was explosive from the start as everyone expected. Bushrod Bulls trademark defense was on display once again. Unsettling Oilers from their usual flow of the game and had to resort to a passing game. Keeping the ball off the floor, cause every time a dribble was attempted, there was a double team.
Bushrod Bulls had an early lead which had their fans cheering and chanting.
“Ley pekin them will soon get tire,” an Oilers fan stated. “Da fourth quarter real basketball will play.”
In the second quarter Oilers gave the Bulls a dose of their own medicine, full court press. That seemed to work as Oilers soon erased the lead and took a three point lead as well. They went into the half with a two points lead.
But before then there was a play on the court wherein one of their player received a cut on his head. It stopped the game briefly for him to receive medical attention.
He returned in the third quarter with a bandage on the side of head much to the joy of the Oilers fans.
The next turn of events will change the excited, joyful fans into a mob! Carlos Marshall had just checked in, after sitting for a while due to foul trouble. It brought a loud chant from the fans, MVP! MVP! In no time he had gone for an offensive rebound, got it and tried to dribble away from an incoming opponent.
As Carlos Marshall turned to begin an attack, he was “mistakenly” hit in the face with an elbow y his defender. Carlos collapsed to the floor holding on to his face. Referee interpret the foul as a normal foul which didn’t go down well with the fans.
“That should be unsportsmanlike foul!” Shouted a fan.
When the referee signal for the medic attention it was then everyone realized how grave the incident was. There was blood oozing of a wound as the medics tried to put the bleeding under control. With the sight of blood, some fans, presumably from Bushrod Bulls stormed the floor with intention of “attacking” the player who had caused the injury.
“He is our messiah,” you could heard them saying!
The incident went out of control when other fans began to throw water from over the arena walls and unto the playing surface. That lead to the match commissioner calling off the game as security was brought in to restore the situation.
What all was expecting to be a cracker has now prematurely ended.
Aloysius, a die hard supporter of basketball in Liberia from his early days based the blame on the coach of the Bushrod Bulls, Erik Cooper. “I believe it is the coach fault.” He went on “His action during the game lead to this.”
What Aloysius was referring to was at a point Coach Erik hotly debated the number of fouls on the Oilers players. Erik then felt the table was not recording the fouls. His action paused the game for about five minutes. “That action incited the crowd that Bushrod Bulls was been cheated,” Aloysius concluded.
Archie, the son of one time president of the Liberia Basketball Federation when asked for a word to describe what was going on, said “Unacceptable!”
Social Media followers also chipped in their displeasure and suggestions.
Thanks be to God that the Liberia Basketball Association is seen my ideological points for securities to be posted at the gym every game day, players and match officials life’s are no longer secure during games, spectators can just envail the court at anytime they wish, and the “LBA” need to put some mechanism into place to stop spectators from smoking in the gym during games, these are my long time recommendation but they refused to acknowledge it.
George A Marshall added his voice, “Fans need to respect the rules of the game…. More over we need security for the teams and match official.”
Freeman, a referee believes that Bushrod Bulls should be ban for the season.
Monday the federation will be meeting for a decision. But we have already gotten word that the game will be rescheduled yet again with a higher entry fee which will minimize the fans as well as adequate security measure in place.
Fans are fans! They will raise the amount for entry and still be there.
What do you think? Should Bulls be ban for the season cause of the action of their fans?