By Edison Jefford
Plaisance Guardians believe that because it is one of the only First Division clubs that is filled with
players from its original community, the chemistry and talent will be sufficient to get them to the Final Four of the National Basketball Championships.
Guardians’ Coach, Andrew Hercules threw direct barbs at his opposition when he stated that he does not have to “buy players like some teams” for the upcoming National Championships: The Road to Mecca III, The Jubilee Edition.
“We are hungry right now; we’re not buying players like some other teams; we’re a home grown team,” Hercules said, adding that the club celebrated six years since its formation yesterday, and will be reflecting on tapes of its performance over that time.
He was directly referring to the fact that there are plans in the pipelines of some teams to import their overseas-based players. Colts is talking about the return of forward, Andrew Ifill and Pepsi Sonics is considering US-based Collis ‘Forty’ Pluck.
The grassroots hype surrounding the significant 2016 Mecca, which is being held when Guyana is celebrating 50 years of independence, is prompting some teams to improve their roster, ahead of jump ball on March 4 to have a chance of making history.
“I gave our guys a break after our last tournament; we have no injuries and we are still about 60 percent ready. As a coach, I need to see where my players are with synergy and condition. Once I see that, we will be good to go,” Hercules asserted.
Guardians rose to prominence late last year in the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA)
League, losing in the finals to Colts United. It toppled the higher ranked Pacesetters and Ravens in that tournament, which elevated its expectations.
Its performance in that tournament was owed largely to the fact that point guard, Nikkoloi Smith has provided an incomparable offensive spark. Its veteran guard, Enoch Mathews has fitted well into the offence along with Trenton Woolford, Marlon Chesney and John Campbell.
Notably, in its best-of-three final against Colts, Guardians were able to influence supporters from its community, Plaisance to come out in droves to support them. That phenomenon is likely to be continued with the stakes higher at The Road to Mecca III.
“If I can get them (the team) to compete as one, I can compete with any team. As a club, we have a different mindset from last year. As a result of that, we are easily among the Final Four. We get better as tournaments progresses,” Hercules informed.
He highlighted that his biggest challenge is putting in some practice sessions to be fully ready for the most important competition on the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) calendar. He made it clear that Plaisance wants the ultimate prize.
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