Kevin Braswell scored a game high 42 points to lead Birdmen to the 2017 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam title with an ultimately convincing 123-107 victory against Railsplitters.
Birdmen led at every quarter-time break but Railsplitters, with Jaylen Gerrand, Judson Seumanu and Samson Aruwa in good form, only trailed 103-95 with four minutes to play.
At that point the former Southlands Sharks and Breakers standout put the hammer down, or put more accurately put on a shooting clinic.
He reeled off 11 straight points including a couple of trademark threes buried off the dribble. An assist for a Brandon Lucas dunk sealed the deal as a tight single digit advantage was blown out to a twenty points lead in a little over two minutes.
Earlier Juan Cruz Colla, Tinashe Matambanadzo, Dom Kelman-Poto, back from representing New Zealand Maori against the Australian Indigenous team in Cairns last week, held sway in the opening half to help Birdmen to a 63-51 half-time lead.
Another NZ Maori representative Judson Seumanu along with Gerrand kept Railsplitters in touch at the last break – down 90-81.
Birdmen stretched the lead to 103-86 early in the fourth but Gerrand, Will Heather, the Aruwa brothers and Zack Te Puni responded to pull Railsplitters back to that 103-95 margin.
From then on it was all Braswell who ruled the roost as he scored 16 of Birdmen’s last twenty points.
Birdmen 123 – Braswell 42, Matambanadzo 31, Colla 19, Lucas 17, Kelman-Poto 10
Railsplitters 107 – Gerrand 24, Samson Aruwa 21, Seumanu 18, Heather 14, Sam Aruwa 12