Last night the Washington Avenue Armory was jumping as over 1,000 people witnessed the Albany Patroons defeat the Raleigh Firebirds 131-112 with their backs against the wall forcing a game three in a best of three series.
Tonight game three will be played at 7pm at the Washington Avenue Armory. Winner will advance to the TBL Championship and take on the Yakima Sunkings, who play in the state of Washington. Last year the Patroons faced the Sunkings in the championship and Yakima swept Albany in the series. In order to get redemption, the Patroons need to win their second game in as many nights against a team that they lost to in Raleigh 106-104.
Last night there were two players for the Patroons that rose to the occasion and lifted Albany in the face of elimination. Forward Darius Paul and guard Josh Cameron combined for nine three-pointers in the second half and broke the game wide open.
Albany trailed Raleigh by 14 in the second quarter, but closed the first half out with a 9-0 run. After the break the Patroons outscored the Firebirds by 15 in the third quarter and the rout was on.
I’ve called the Patroons games for the last two seasons and I can honestly say that the environment last night was reminiscent of the Carrier Dome. The 1,000 plus fans on hand made it tough for Raleigh to run their sets and find a rhythm. The Patroons would be grateful if tonight’s crowd replicated that.
I will be court side calling the game and selling jerky during timeouts and in between quarters. I think we as a town should rally around these Patroons tonight and make it a night to remember. We all know about the Patroon heydays back in the 80s. We have a chance to make our own mark and say that I was there. I know I will be.