Aug 25, 2010 Sports
– National basketball captain chokes
By Edison Jefford
He had done everything right before he stepped to the free-throw (ft) line with one second left in regulation time. An overwhelmed Cliff Anderson Sports Hall was already immersed in the detail that the moment belonged to Guyana and they had every reason.
Was this the time in Guyana’s basketball history that a packed Sports Hall was going to see the overhauling of the mighty Washington D.C Jammers? All that hope and promise lay squarely on the shoulders of the national basketball captain, Darcel Harris.
The Ravens and Guyana senior point guard worked hard on both ends of the court for 40 minutes only to have all his hard work fade into bad memory in one second. Harris transformed victory at the Sports Hall Monday night into an overtime defeat.
With the scores tied on 65 points, and one second left on the game clock, the diminutive Harris ‘shaped up’ at the ft line after he was fouled in the paint attempting to penetrate. The hosts had their opponents on the line and it was Harris’s job to close them out.
Instead, he missed both shots and the echoes of disappointment resonated throughout the Sports Hall as enthusiasts stood to support a team that was given absolutely no chance against a quality D.C Jammers line-up that featured mostly college players.
Such teams, with such debt, rarely misfire on second chances. The D.C Jammers went back to a simple freeze-defence strategy and moving the ball on offence, looking to get it inside to centre, Lancelot Loncke in a devastating fundamental display of skill.
Guyana had no answer in overtime, and the disappointment was clearly communicated in mental and physical attitude on the court as D.C Jammers cruised to an 80-73 points’ win that gave them a 2-0 lead in the three-game series with Game Three last night.
Savannah State University Division I All-American point guard, Joseph Flegler and Armstrong Atlantic State University Division I shooting guard, Keron Mckenzie had 21 points each for D.C Jammers with Mouktar Fawehinmi adding 13 points.
Guyana’s Trinidad and Tobago-based semi-professional forward, Andrew ‘Mr. Dunk’ Ifill scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double. Harris and Royston Siland had 15 points as Akeem ‘The Dream’ Kanhai finished with 13 points.
Guyana for the second straight time dominated the D.C Jammers on both ends of the floor in the first half of the game, forcing the visitors coach to admit that his players are fairly new to Guyana and are suffering from a bit of over-anxiety from the atmosphere.
The D.C Jammers’s offence primarily surrounded their guard, Flegler, who was extremely lethal with his ball-handling, sharp-shooting and passes. Guyana could not stop Flegler, the man who is responsible for his team overtime win Monday night.
Flegler made a big three-pointer that answered Harris’ three-point jumper from the top of the key that levelled the scores 71 points apiece midway through the five-minute overtime. Flegler’s shot placed D.C Jammers up 74-71 and Guyana never recovered.
In two and a half minutes, the D.C Jammers went on an easy nine-two run that ultimately closed out Guyana, who obviously lacked the temperament in such situations. D.C Jammers were intent on making their point: take opportunities against them when they come.
GBA proud of Ramdhani’s achievement
Eight year-old Priyanna Ramdhani returned home with the lone medal for Guyana at the Individual Championships of the XIX Pan American Junior Championships which was played in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from August 8-12.
Ramdhani copped a bronze medal after reaching the quarter-finals, before bowing out to USA’s Christine Yu in straight sets 12-21, 15-21 in the Girls Under-11 category.
According to Head Coach Gokarn Ramdhani some 16 countries including Guyana participated in the Championships.
The other countries that took part were Canada, Dominican Republic, USA, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Barbados, Jamaica, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, El Salvador, Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
This is the second Pan American Tournament that Guyana has ever participated in with last year, being the first and local players made it to the second round in Puerto Rico.
Ramdhani stated that this year they got as far as the quarter-final and semis and in the process gained the country’s first medal.
“The junior development started four years ago and although most of the training is done with the plastic shuttlecocks, we were able to compete with the feather shuttlecocks used internationally. Locally, we use the feather shuttlecocks at tournaments and a month before international tournaments. Feather shuttlecock can be very expensive and as many 5-7 are used during a match,” Ramdhani pointed out.
The results of the opening Matches for the Guyanese Players are as Follows:
Under 11 Girls Singles Round 2: Priyanna Ramdhani (GUY) defeated Cindy Rodriguez (DR) 21-8, 21-9.
Under 13 Boys Singles Round 1: Narayan Ramdhani (GUY) defeated Isaac Lopez (DR) 21-9, 21-8.
Under-15 Boys Singles Round 1: E. Zambrano Solano (ECU) defeated Noel Shewjattan (GUY) 21-14, 21-8.
Under 11 Mixed Doubles Round 1: Priyanna Ramdhani (GUY)/Jourdan Hydol-Smith (JAM) defeated the No. 3 seeded Matthias Lai/Michelle ((USA) 21-8, 19-21, 21-14
Under 13 Mixed Doubles Round 1: Narayan Ramdhani (GUY)/Ester Reynolds (JAM) defeated Danny De La Cruz (DOM)/Ralitsa Wong (TRI) 21-12, 21-14
Day Two results:
Under 11 Girls Singles Round 3: Priyanna Ramdhani (GUY) defeated Lauren Villalobos (Costa Rica) 21-5, 21-8
Under 13 Boys Singles Round 2: Narayan Ramdhani (GUY) defeated Alexander Hernandez (Venezuela) 21-4, 21-3
Under 13 Mixed Doubles Round 2: Narayan Ramdhani (GUY)/Ester Reynolds (JAM) defeated Shea Martin/Amanda Haywood (Barbados) 21-16, 14-21, 14-21
Day Three results:
Under 11 Girls Singles Quarter-Finals: Priyanna Ramdhani (GUY) lost to Christine Yu (USA) 12-21, 15-21
Under 11 Girls Doubles Quarter-Finals: Priyanna Ramdhani (GUY)/Amanda Yearwood (BAR) lost to Breanna Chi/Cindy Yuan (USA) 12-21,5-21
Under 11 Mixed Doubles Quarter-Finals: Priyanna Ramdhani (GUY)/Jourdan Hydol Smith (JAM) defeated F.De Lemos/Luanna Capuli (BRA) 21-13, 21-14
Under 13 Boys Singles Quarter Finals: Narayan Ramdhani (GUY) lost to Jose Guevara Llatas (PERU) 21-15, 16-21, 14-21
Under 13 Mixed Doubles Quarter Finals: Narayan Ramdhani (GUY)/Ester Reynolds (JAM) lost to A. Do Nascimento/T.DaSilva (BRA) 11-21, 11-21
Under 15 Boys Doubles Round 2: Narayan Ramdhani (GUY)/Soren Optie(SUR) lost to 2nd seeded Pow Hwa Chan/Aston Khor(USA) 21-7, 21-10
Day Four results:
Under 11 Mixed Doubles Semi-Finals: Priyanna Ramdhani (GUY)/Jourdan Hydol Smith (JAM) lost to D. Oliveira/Glaicemar Silva Carvalho(BRA) 21-13, 21-12
Meanwhile, the Guyana Badminton Association extended thanks to the following business entities and individuals for their support which made the tour possible and they are Ramroop Furniture Store, C&V Shipping, P. Singh, HPS Corporate Services Inc., North American Resources, Ramchands Auto & General Store, Phil Geborde, Elizabeth Hughes, Teresa DeFreitas, Republic Bank, Janet Chung-Bordina & NPI Communications Inc.
The GBA disclosed that the bronze medal achievement was commendable and they intend to commence preparations very soon for the 2011 Pan American Championships to be held in Jamaica.
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