Apr 06, 2018 Sports
By Calvin Chapman
The 2018 edition of Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation’s (GABF) National Club Championships, dubbed ‘Road to Mecca V’, which bounces off tomorrow at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH), was officially launched yesterday at Palm Court on Main Street. It was announced by head of the GABF, Nigel Hinds, that the competition will now host a total of 12 teams that will be divided into two groups of six, pitted in round-robin action with the top two teams of each group advancing to the semifinal.
In addition to Ravens who won the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) qualifiers for Mecca V, second place finishers Eagles have been granted a spot in the tournament which will see in excess of $2million in cash and prizes up for grabs. In the fifth year of this tournament, Eagles will be making their debut and will line up in Group B alongside last year runners up Victory Valley Royals, third place finishers Kobras, Jets, Nets and the winner of Berbice Amateur Basketball Association’s (BABA) tournament final this Saturday between Hopetown Stealers and Canje Knights.
Meanwhile, Group A will consist of Bounty Colts, Half-Mile Bulls, Plaisance Guardians, Pacesetters, Retrieve Raiders and Dyna’s Ravens.
Eagles’ player, Michael Richards, expressed elation in his team’s maiden ascension into the National Club Champi
onships and positively noted that they will be going all out to make a lasting impression on event.
Meanwhile, Travis Burnett, a key player of Kobras which finished third in the tournament last year before Bounty Colts successfully defended their 2016 title, shared with Kaieteur News that his team is looking to go one step further and grasp a maiden championship victory.
Kobras and Eagles will clash in the first of four matches that will be played on the tournament’s opening day at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) from 16:00hrs. The second game will be between two-time defending champions Bounty Colts and Half Mile Bulls at 18:00hrs followed Victory Valley Royals versus Republic Bank Nets at 20:00hrs and Plaisance Guardians will sweat with Dyna’s Ravens in the feature game that tips off at 22:00hrs on Saturday.
Vice-president of the GABF, Mike Singh, posited that in Mecca IV which he believed was run-off hastily, “We (GABF) failed miserably”, and he noted that this year the competition which was initially the his brainchild, will be much better organised.
Hinds reiterated the latter sentiment of Singh and explained that he, “Believe that this year will be more competitive and (rank outsider) clubs such as Guardians, Pacesetters and Jets are in good form and capable of making upsets.” It is also important for Mecca V that all three of the GABF sub-associations name
ly GABA and Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA), have recently completed tournament with BABA’s own finishing tomorrow, so players should at least have match fitness.
The winners of Mecca which bounces off tomorrow will cash in on $600,000, 2nd place finishers $400,000 and 3rd $300,000, while the tournament’s MVP will walk away with a handsome $200,000, the player with the most points $100,00, most rebounds $100,000 and the most improved player $100,000 along with team and individual trophies and fan giveaways.
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