Troy Lambert, head-coach of newcomer Rio All-Stars, is confident in his charges making the grand final of the inaugural Rio Indoor Streetball Championship on December 14th at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue.
This was disclosed via an official press release from tournament coordinators Three Peat Promotions. Formerly the head-tactician of Bent Street, Lambert said that while the tournament is highly competitive, his side possesses the required abilities and experience to earn a place in the coveted final.
He added, “It’s a very open tournament, but we are very confident in our skills and will be coming to play football. We are here to take over Streetball and looking to win championships starting with this tournament. We just want to be the best in Georgetown and in Guyana.”
Rio will faceoff with Future Stars in the quarterfinal on Saturday December 7th. A win will earn them a date with either Bent Street or Back Circle in the semi-final round. In the other two quarterfinal matches, Sparta Boss will oppose BV and Gold is Money will tackle Leopold Street.
Asked about the impact of the tournament on growth of Streetball, he declared, “This is a big impact towards the communities from the standpoint where the teams normally don’t have executives, they just come out and want to play. Now they chance to play for prize monies of one million dollars. I really see this is a plus and I want more sponsors to come in and improve street football so it can grow further.”
He further said, “You never know that another sponsor might come and award more monies to the players. Streetball at the moment is it, everyone wants to play Streetball, even the Elite League players. As a player you are getting more playing time and earning more. It is like a salary, when you ask players if they are playing in the year-end tournaments, their response is ‘my office is in the gym’.”
According to Lambert, “Tournaments such as this have elevated Streetball, it’s about the organizers and coordinators. I wish Rio can continue to invest in Streetball and host more tournaments, the talk is that Rio should take over and be an integral part of the Streetball community. It’s great for Streetball they are on board, it’s comparable to when Alpha United and Slingerz were around and what they did. Other individuals and businesses might come onboard and host events and form teams and improve the quality.”
He further affirmed that Streetball has grown exponentially due to the lack of politics and infighting that has plagued the traditional format, adding, “Streetball don’t have a leader, it’s about the communities and players and that has allowed it to grow and be supported by many. There is no politics involved, this tournament is a massive plus for the format and going forward I want to see more tournaments and sponsors involved in Streetball.”
The tournament continues on Saturday at the National Gymnasium with the quarterfinal round.
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