-Defending champs, Pacesetters seeded number one
By Edison Jefford
The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) has identified the 16 Clubs for the National Club Championships: The Road to Mecca III. The Championships will begin early in March, and conclude later that same month
at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
The federation identified the teams at a meeting Saturday evening. The structure that was used is lucid: the top eight teams from last year’s Championships were automatic qualifiers based on the finishing positions last year.
Another eight clubs were given a chance to participate in the national tournament following their performance within their respective sub-associations. These are deemed wildcard entrants, and as a result, will compete in the first round against the top eight.
The tournament will be done using a knockout, win-or-go-home format, which gives all teams, including the wildcard entrants, an opportunity to go deep in the Championships and ultimately bounce away with the historic title in Guyana’s Jubilee year.
There is no doubt that every club will want to be recorded as the team that won a National Club Championship in Guyana’s Jubilee year. The historic occasion should be enough to galvanise the 16 clubs that are invited to play, and their communities, to trek to the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall nightly in pursuit of an opportunity to be listed in the annals of history.
Defending champions, Pacesetters enters the tournament as the number one ranked team with the runners-up, Colts ranked number two. Linden’s Retrieve Raiders and Victory Valley Royals take the number three and four spots on the rankings respectively.
The 2014 Champions, Ravens are ranked number five with Linden’s Half Mile Bulls rated sixth. Plaisance Guardians comes in at number seven while Pepsi Sonics rounds off the top eight clubs in the 2016 National Basketball Club Championships.
Meanwhile, Linden’s Amelia’s Ward Jets comes in ranked number nine while the University of Guyana Trojans are ranked tenth. Georgetown’s Republic Bank Nets are listed as 11th; Smithfield Rockers and New Amsterdam Warriors are the two Berbice teams and are ranked 12th and 13th in the competition.
Linden’s Bankers Trust Falcons and Block 22 Flames are ranked 14th and 15th, while Georgetown Eagles complete the 16 teams. Kaieteur Sport was told that the tournament will be launched this month where further details on the draw will be disclosed.
But given the rankings of teams, each club will already know who they will play in the Round-of 16, which is the first round before the Super Eight or quarterfinal. This means that the clubs have enough time to prepare for the Championships in March, as opposed awaiting the planned launch before they can commence preparations.
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