Oct 04, 2011 Sports
-Royals, Ghetto advance
By Edison Jefford
On paper, basketball buffs would have thought that Kingsway, a seemingly top composition in Group ‘A’ of the Mackeson Smooth Moves 3-on-3 Basketball Competition would have been the team to beat, not only in that group, but in the entire Linden Zone.
Those pundits were not only wrong; they were asinine to think that a $1M first prize is not enough money to motivate lesser talented teams to bring their ‘A’ games. Kingsway simply lost their way Sunday night to become the first major casualty of the tournament.
The team that came out of the Kings Basketball Club, and comprised, Omally Sampson, Marvin Hartman and Neil Marks ended their sojourn in the contest after failing in a free-throw shootout with Ghetto and Constab after the teams ended in a three-way tie for second place in the group.
The easy qualifier was Victory Valley Royals. The unit from the western half of the Demerara River that runs through Linden, defeated Ghetto 15-11, Team Smooth 11-9, Kingsway 13-11 and lost to Constab 18-15 to top the first group to play in the competition.
Ansa McAl through Mackeson definitely brought the vibes to the Mackenzie Sports Club (MSC) Court Sunday night as hundreds came out to usher in the largest basketball rivalry ever witnessed in Guyana. The prize money is the biggest purse ever offered in any format.
The Royals grouping of Chris Williams, Marlon Pollydore, Orlando Glasgow and Harold Adams proved a successful combo with Williams and Glasgow the main scorers; Williams reminded all why he may be one of the purest shooting guards in the country.
Williams shot to prominence several years ago when Royals defeated Pacesetters in Linden with his sharp-shooting being the main reason. In that memorable game, Williams made eight of nine three-point jumpers to outshine his shooting rival, Stephan Gillis.
Fast-forward to 2011, Williams has matured and looks more deadly from beyond the arc. He had absolutely no problem lighting up the sometimes dark MSC Court. Williams and Glasgow made a text book out of basketball with their pick-and-roll and other systems.
What was clear is that the quartet, with one bench player allowed, was prepared for the contest at the expense of a few other good, but unprepared teams. In one of the deciding thrillers, Constab and Kingsway tied on 16-16 when they matched skills in the group.
The game, as per rule, went to a free-throw shootout to decide the winner, hanging in the balance through several rounds of shooting before Geoffrey LaRose nailed his jumper and Marks missed his attempt to effectively hand Constab the win.
Constab that consist of LaRose, Kenneth Charles, Dwayne McKinnon and Andre Pearson backed up that win when they toppled the group winners, Royals, setting themselves on what was ideally a successful path, beating the two most dominant teams early on.
However, the mental fortitude and fitness went away from Constab and they quickly followed the two big wins with two humiliating defeats against Ghetto and the bottom ranked, Team Smooth to put them in contention for the shootout after the group’s round-robin.
Ghetto defeated Team Smooth to also finish with two wins and two loses from its four games. As the horrible script continued for Constab after a great start, they were the first to exit the shootout after missing the two attempts. Their exit left Ghetto and Kingsway in the dugout.
Kingsway missed one shot and scored the other while Ghetto buried both shots to send them into the next round. The tense nature of the group’s finish was enough to ensure that the competition get the kind of start that will sustain its momentum throughout Guyana.
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