Like they did last year, the reigning champions Kashif and Shanghai Kings and Amelia’s Ward Jets are to play for the rights to be called Trophy Stall Regulation Open basketball champions after both teams advanced through different routes to reach this year’s final when the semifinals were held on Wednesday night at the Mackenzie Sports Club Hard Court.
The Kings out played the Bankers Trust Falcons as they romped past them to win 78-62 as they were spearheaded by the experienced centre forward Omally Sampson with a game high 24 points, shooting guard Orin Rose shot in 19 inclusive of five from 3-point territory and their captain Steve Neils (Jr.) contributed 14 in a moral boosting win for the Kings who had struggled into the final four.
The semifinals was marred by the decision of the Retrieve Raiders to have the suspended national centre Dwayne Roberts in their lineup even though officials from the Linden Amateur Basketball Association and pleaded with them to withdraw his name in their lineup. Raiders club had stated that the governing Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation had upturned the LABA six year ban on their dominant player and that is why they included him on their roster.
But the LABA responded that their suspension stands in light of the manner in which the federation has handled an appeal from Roberts in their absence and then the lifting of the ban and fine of $15,000 by the regional governing body.
Secretary of the LABA Joseph Chapman said, that the association in an emergency meeting the night before decided that their ban of Roberts remains until such time that the federation meets with them to look at that appeal among others which they have raised with the national body.
The final will go ahead tonight Chapman said and while the third place game is off, the Bankers Trust Falcons, who lost to Kings in their semifinal clash, will play Half Mile Bulls in a supporting game to the final at 7.30pm, while the Kings /Jets match is at 9.30pm.
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