By Edison Jefford
Republic Bank Nets has all the talent to win the historic National Basketball Championship: The Road to
Mecca III, but all will come down to if the team can mobilise its resources to bounce off with the accolade in the year that Guyana is celebrating its Golden Jubilee.
Nets has both structure and human resource to pose a serious threat to any of its opponents in the tournament, but lack of cooperation and team work has often undermined those important attributes in a way that prevented the team from reaching its real potential.
The team has a national and regional conglomerate, Republic Bank as its sponsor, which is the first positive aspect of its structure that should always motivate them to perform well. Finding a sponsor for a local basketball team is no ordinary task, and Nets has a major sponsor supporting the team.
The team ought to be aware of the need to maintain the Bank’s image of excellence, in the sport. Nets should also consider mobilising a fan base at the Bank, including staff, to come to games to root for them; Nets has to sell itself positively to the Bank.
One way is to let the Bank know how important moral support is; another is to take a bold step to convince the Bank that physically backing them in their games in the national tournament can be an effective ‘sixth man’ presence that can help it win.
The ultimate result of this can be the mounting of the Championship Trophy at one of the Bank’s locations, which can improve its social standing since all will see the result of the Bank honouring its corporate and social responsibility in the sport. It is for Nets to make the management and staff of the Bank feel as though they
are a part of the team.
Nets should begin a campaign at each of the Bank’s locations, letting the staff know that it is representing them on a journey to win a national title and their support is as important to them as its performance. This can be the turning point for the team.
Secondly, the team is naturally endowed with talented players. Those include, forwards, Mortimer Williams, Fabian Johnson and if available, Sheldon Howell and Drumson McCulley. This is quite a formidable line-up in the paint.
In addition, the point guards include Hodayah Stewart, Antwan Austin, Michael Richards, Pelham Doris and Darrion Lewis. Again, these are a bunch of talented players, who could pose a definite threat once the chemistry is there, among all the other facets mentioned earlier.
Nets will play Plaisance Guardians in the First Round and that game should be a humdinger when the tournament starts on March 4 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. Republic Bank Nets will want to recall the grit and grind it showed when it edged Pacesetters 74-73 in November 2014 in Phillip George’s Memorial tournament.
Pacesetters went on to win the National Championship title the next year. The point is Nets has showed in the past that it can beat the best teams. There is nothing that should stop the team from believing that it can win the 2016 title.
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