Jun 26, 2018 Sports
By Calvin Chapman in Suriname
in association with Mohamed’s Enterprise,
Bounty Farm and Hopkinson Mining
Guyana and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) played what may turn out to be the most exciting game of the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) men’s championship, last night at the Anthony Nesty Sporthal in Paramaribo.
The Guyanese followed up their 29-point thrashing of Grenada on Sunday night with a gutsy victory over the SVG side that were identified as the strongest in the group, thanks to a stellar performance from their teenage skipper Stanton Rose who netted a remarkable, game-high score of 41 points that was decorated with an impressive nine three-pointers.
Better shooting, spearheaded by three consecutive three-pointers from Alexis Foyle had allowed St. Vincent & the Grenadines off to a positive 26-18 (eight-point) lead at the end of the 1st quarter of play.
At the half, St. Vincent extended their lead to nine points as Guyana missed some open shots and turned over the ball unnecessary.
Coach, Junior Hercules did excellent against the SVG who capitalised on their height advantage well during the first half of the game and during the quarter he made some changes and gave his troops new instructions to counter the height factor of SVG and that coupled w
ith improved shooting,(especially beyond the three-point arc) forced Guyana back into the game.
With three minutes on the clock before the final period of play, Travis Belgrave won two free throws and sunk both to put Guyana in the lead after the men in green had trailed for the majority of play. However, Belgrave’s two from the line was a rarity and if the Guyanese hadn’t struggled from the free throw line where they hit 13 from 34 attempts, the game would’ve been a different narrative as the third quarter finished 62-62.
The final period of play was extremely exciting, giving the sparsely seated fans at the Anthony Nesty Sporthal and the local fans at home viewing the livestream on local television, plenty to cheer about as both teams matched each other shot for shot. And, when the fulltime horn blew with the score at 81-81, the neutral fans were happy to see more of the action.
Overtime was not enough to separate the two teams and it entered double extra time 96-96 for a tied score at the end of three consecutive period of play before the Guyanese closed it off with a gritty 104-102 win.
Ray Victor who contributed a valuable 15 points; hitting them when Guyana needed it most, was ecstatic after the victory, “It was a do or die, we resting tomorrow (today) so we gave it our all,” the British Virgin Islands based player exclaimed.
Meanwhile, Coach Hercules noted that St. Vincent had the bigger players which Guyana countered through fast plays, which weren’t working during the first half because his players weren’t sinking enough shots but he explained that switched tactics and “heart” allowed his troops to claw their way back into the game.
From four years ago in the Tortola hosted CBC Championships where SVG defeated Guyana to condemn the Golden Arrowhead to last place, this is definitely a remarkable improvement with Guyana winning their first two group games.
“A few players are banged up but I’m hoping that they recover and our rest day tomorrow (today) should help. Going forward we are not going to change much of our playing style but I think we can shoot better, especially from the free throw line,” Coach Hercules explained during the post-game press conference.
“Stanton has a very high game IQ, the best among all the local players, we are happy that we made him the Captain, he makes good plays and decisions, he is very solid and he has demonstrated that he is our leader. His sneakers were soaked from relentless running but he didn’t complain nor did he want to rest, he just pushed through,” Coach Junior Hercules on Rose’s heroic performance.
Guyana will play Suriname on Wednesday night from 21:00hrs in what is expected to be another exciting match up with Guyana unbeaten and Suriname with the backing of the local crowd.
Earlier results from yesterday saw Barbados defeating Bermuda 87-78, while Antigua & Barbuda made light work of Montserrat 87-66.
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