By Calvin Chapman in Suriname in association with Bounty Farm, Mohamed’s Enterprise and Hopkinson Mining
Guyana’s best showing in the Caribbean Basketball Confederation’s (CBC) Men’s championship was in 1994 when they copped the Silver Medal at home. Now, 24 years later, in the 2018 edition of this tournament, Guyana will at least repeat their best performance after defeating Barbados by five points in the first semifinal of the championships being hosted at the Anthony Nesty Sporthal in Paramaribo.
Ray Victor continued his form from the previous night and tossed up a game-high 25 points inclusive of three confidently taken three-pointers. Anthony Moe continued his commendable offensive form with 17 points, while the Captain Stanton Rose scored 15 points. As was the case against Suriname, aware of Rose’s dangerous shooting, Barbados doubled team Rose throughout which didn’t work to their benefit as they still lost.
By the end of the first quarter, Guyana were running away with the game, enjoying a 17-point lead with the score 32-15. However, at the end of the first half, Barbados had managed to cut the deficit to 4 point with the score at 45-41. The Stanton Rose led team maintained a relatively safe lead throughout the match as the men from the ‘Land of the Flying Fish’ failed to produce anything special to overtake Guyana.
The Golden Arrowhead, being cheered on by a handful of fans, including travelling fans Saratu Philips and Kheon Evans that supported from game one, is the only unbeaten team remaining in the tournament. And, Coach Junior Hercules would’ve always fancied their chances against an out of sorts ‘Bajan’ unit who only made it to the semifinal as a consequence of Haiti’s disqualification due to ineligible players.
In addition, Guyana had defeated Barbados 2-1, one week prior to the CBC men’s championship during a three-match away series at the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex,
so definitely they had an overwhelming belief that they would’ve ascended to the final to play the winner of the Antigua & Barbuda versus Suriname match up.
At the post-match press conference, Hercules stated that, “We had a little nerves at the end of the game but we played Barbados a few weeks ago (and defeated them) and we knew that we would’ve won, once we replicated our game play against them.”
Now having secured a place in the final, Hercules noted that he is, “Very confident of going all the way”, while expressing gratitude for all the fans supporting home in Guyana as well as overseas.
Rose, who was also present at the brief, posited that he was happy with the success he had in dictating the pace of the game, especially when his team mates were beginning to feel the “nerves”, and getting everybody involved.
When quizzed on which team they prefer to play in the final, Hercules noted simply that it doesn’t matter as he is confident of defeating either Antigua or the home team Suriname.
In conclusion, the coach motioned that it would be nice to have the support of the Government of Guyana at this momentous occasion through the presence of the Minister with the responsibility of Sport, Dr. George Norton at the final this evening.
Guyana will compete in the final tonight from 20:00hrs (Guyana time) at the Anthony Nesty Sporthal.
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