-Journey starts March 4
Stakeholders congregated yesterday at the 704 Sports Bar to officially launch the third edition of the National Basketball Championship: The Road to Mecca III, The Jubilee Edition that bounces off on Friday March 4
at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), Nigel Hinds disclosed that the 16 teams that will compete over the three weekends of competition will vie for $1M in total cash apart from the other prizes that will be given out.
The top four teams will receive cash prizes: $500,000; $250,000; $150,000 and $100,000 for the teams placing first to fourth along with trophies. There will also be individual prizes for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament and finals.
“The plan is to make the Championships bigger and better,” Hinds said, adding that there will be giveaways for patrons as well, which includes tablets smart phones, cash and sponsors’ items for the duration of the Championship.
The first Round-of-16 in the tournament will be held on March 4, 5 and 6, while the Quarterfinals or Super Eight bounces off on March 11 and 12 before the semi-final or Final Four on March 13; the Grand Final will be held on March 19 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
Hinds explained to an audience of aficionados, players and media among other stakeholders that the federation and organisers are committed to sports entertainment. “We are committed to good halftime entertainment and entertainment during two minute breaks,” he said, adding that Music and Cheerleaders will be part of the entire tournament.
According to the GABF President, tickets will be handed out to schools for them to participate in the Championship. “It is important that we keep the sport at a very high standard. We’ve done so for both Mecca I and Mecca II, so we look forward to a competitive Championship,” he noted.
Hinds made it clear that the National Championships remains the chief platform for the selection of national teams. He said that is important, given that the Washington D.C Jammers are planning to tour Guyana this year.
The Championship will have all the tenets of Guyana’s celebration of 50 years of Independence, including the singing of the National Anthem. In addition, systems for adequate security, internal and external, at the venue are also a high priority.
The Guyana Basketball Officials Council (GBOC) will supervise the referees. The 16 teams that will play were drawn from sub-associations in Berbice, Georgetown and Linden. The journey for the team that will have the historic right to be called National Champions in the year Guyana will continuously celebrate its Golden Jubilee begins in two weeks.
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