The Tampa Bay Rebels are making a return trip to the Florida Basketball Association championship game after winning the semi-final round of the 2013 FBA playoffs with a 112-107 victory over the Palm Beach Knights this past Saturday night.
The Rebels began the game with Cory Lemons at the point joined by former University of Tampa Spartan Jonathan Brown in the backcourt. Stan Bufford and Chris Stephenson, who both played overseas last season, opened at the forward positions, while Tampa native Xavier Shannon earned the start at center. Palm Beach opened with a tough lineup of their own, employing a starting five of Germar Kinsey, Sylvester Banks, Andy Stoute, Charles Louis and Anthony Banks.
While the game had many lead changes, the home standing Rebels had built a fifteen point lead during the third quarter. The Knights, however, were not going away quietly as they battled back with an up-tempo attack and quick three-point shots to close the gap as the game wound down. The Rebels improved their defensive effort down the stretch and controlled the boards while making free throws in the final seconds of the game to pull out the victory.
The Tampa Bay Rebels, who now stand at 11-2, will square-off against the 10-3 Heartland Prowl for the second straight year in the FBA championship game. These two teams have been involved in some of the best games in the first two years of the FBA, including a 123-122 overtime victory for the Rebels in the season opener. While the Rebels won the regular season series at 3-1, both teams have scored exactly 446 points apiece during those four regular season matchups.
The Tampa Bay Rebels want to extend an invitation to the entire Tampa Bay area to come out and support the Rebels in their quest for back to back FBA championships on August 3rd at 7pm. The game will be played at Freedom High School, which is located at 17410 Commerce Park Boulevard in Tampa. Fans 13 and under will receive free admission to the game, while those over 13 can purchase tickets for $10 at the gate or at the R●Sole store located at University Square Mall near the USF campus.
To learn more about the Rebels, please visit us online at www.tampabayrebels.com.