– Registration opens at outlets across Guyana
By Edison Jefford
There is absolutely no doubt that when the best ‘street-ballers’ from all across Guyana lace their sneakers for the Mackeson Smooth Moves 3-on-3 Basketball Challenge, they will do so against a backdrop of pristine preparations that have been ongoing for some time.
Yesterday, Mackeson Brand Manager at Ansa McAl, Jamaal Douglas, told Kaieteur Sport that he and the Ansa McAl team have been doing lots of work within communities across Guyana aimed at ensuring that both players and patrons are satisfied with their preparations.
Douglas said that the community visits were more or less system checks to verify the standard of playing venues and what needs to be put in place to host the event. He said that the visits created additional awareness with the grassroots work they have done.
“We have been and we will be in all parts of the country with this tournament. It is clear that we have the support of communities from our visits, we are looking to see the facilities they have as this tournament also have a community development aspect,” Douglas said.
The Mackeson Brand Manager indicated that the derelict courts in playing communities that will have to be spruced up will get the necessary corporate input; “other areas that need to be firm are being looked at ahead of the event for enhancement,” Douglas added.
He informed that with the support of the governing body for basketball in Guyana, the challenge is expected to go deeper into the ‘streets’ this time with Ansa McAl extending the event to virgin basketball-playing communities that did not participate last year.
Those communities include Den Amstel, Uitvlugt and Enmore among others that will witness for the first time, the hippest ‘street-ball’ tournament in Guyana with the biggest cash prize at any of the playing levels. The Mackeson 3-on-3 contest offers $1M winner-take-all.
“This is all a means of developing basketball in Guyana from the grassroots level which is where talent really starts. This is giving players who normally don’t get an opportunity to shine on what can be called the ‘big stage’, a chance to prove their skills,” Douglas continued.
“We believe that basketball needs such and input right now to recreate interest. Basketball needs such help and we will be providing that,” he noted, adding that teams coming out of communities are expected to be fully backed by those communities as is usually the case.
All in all, Douglas believes that the stage is being set to surpass the hype, buzz and enthusiasm it created last year. He said that registration has officially commenced nationwide at some specific locations whether it be sports bars, barbershops, supermarkets or the Ansa McAl Headquarters at Beterverwagting on the East Coast of Demerara.
The locations for registration will be published in the newspapers. With six Mackeson caps and the registration form being the entry criteria, teams comprising four players will have a chance to cash in on the ‘milli’. The games will be played for 15 minutes–7½ minutes per half–with a 30-second timeout in each half.
A team must consist of four players, with none being under 18 years. The rules of the tournament will be reinforced. If any of the competing teams are found guilty of breaching the rules penalties that amount to a disqualification from the tournament could be the result.
The 3-on-3 format is an established International Basketball Federation (FIBA) format. The rules for the format include the fact that each basket from beyond the arc (three-point line) will usually count as two points while other buckets count as one point. The first team to reach 21 points will before the 15-minutes time expires will be declared the winner.
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