GABA/Banks DIH Leagues
By Calvin Chapman
The action packed 2017 season of the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA)/Banks DIH Leagues has commenced a two week break and will resume on Sunday September 24, when teams will battle in playoff matches for Championship honours.
So far, the players and club management, including Pacesetters Coach, Clement Brusch, have mutually expressed pleasure at the way the season has progressed.
Under the stewardship of newly elected GABA President, Adrian Hooper, the leagues have been designed to have more matches contested than previous seasons.
The GABA/Malta Supreme/Powerade/Rainforest Water First, Second and Under-23 leagues have seen teams from eight (8)s clubs battling non-stop for two successive months (July 7 to September 10).
Previously, as was the case in the 2016 season when Bounty Colts won all three divisions, the clubs were divided in two groups and competed using the round-robin format after which the top team from each group went on to contest the final.
This year, there is no group play, all the clubs “sweated” with each other twice, and when the competition resumes on September 24, the teams will play each other in a NBA-style playoff, knockout format for the three league-titles.
Whilst the sport is being played more regularly in the Georgetown association which is commendable, the Banks DIH sponsored leagues have had some pitfalls.
Two of those shortcomings have been the limited availability of officials and the unavailability of game statistics in a timely manner.
Speaking to Kaieteur Sport, Head Coach of the Pacesetters Basketball Club, the voluble Clement Brusch, whose club has been one of the best so far, shed some light on the challenge of limited referees.
”Many times we show up for games and the officials aren’t ready. There are only five active officials at the GABA leagues from my count. Due to the insufficient amount of officials that are available for games, this has resulted in only two referees blowing a match.”
Brusch explained that these officials who work 9-5 jobs and still come out every night because of their love for the game.
Brusch, who won the Mecca Basketball Championship with Pacesetters in 2015, his debut coaching year, further explained:
”Frequently, one of the two referees from a previous match, officiate a subsequent clash in one given game-night and its fatigue like that which may result in some bad calls by these committed officials.”
He was keen to point out that his comments aren’t an attack on the officials, Mark Trim, Shane Allicock, Dennis Clarke, Oswald Benjamin and Brian Carter, rather, he has expressed sincere thanks to these committed officials who have kept the matches going.
As a means to help add to the referees’ manpower, Brusch explained that there are a lot of former players who are willing to be involved in officiating and that the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) should hold a Referee’s Training Programme soonest, to bring more officials into the game to ease the workload.
Coach Brusch praised some of the top young talented players in the tournament, the likes of Nathan Saul, Timothy Thompson, Quincy Dos Santos, Marvin Durant and Amoniki John, all whom are academically inclined student/athletes.
He explained that if one of these lads were to apply for a sports-scholarship, their game statistics would be useful for their successful bids.
Brusch further noted that he was cognizant of the financial constraints of GABA but reiterated the usefulness of stats, “Statistics is not only useful at the GABA level but at the national level as well. One of the problems I think is that the national teams have been composed of offensive players. We have had to ask offensive players to play defense but if stats were available to examine the defensive attributes of players like steals, blocks and rebounds, teams would be more balanced, rather than being selected on points, scored.”
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