The battle lines have been drawn as the fate of several teams will be decided this evening when the quarter-final round in the inaugural Rio Indoor Streetball Championship kicks off at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue.
The four matches programmed for the evening are expected to thrill the large gathering that is expected to descend on the venue to witness the thrilling action.
Tournament hosts and dark horse Rio All-Stars will open the night’s proceedings against Future Stars from 20:00hrs. Rio All-Stars possess quality players in the form Andrew Murray, Jermin Junior, Job Caesar and Kelsey Benjamin and will fancy their chances of progressing to the semifinal round.
However, standing in their way will be the quartet of Kevin Cummings, Keron Solomon, Jamal Cozier and Rondell Bowman. A major rivalry will be revisited in the second match from 21:00hrs, when Gold is Money take aim at Leopold Street.
Gold is Money will depend on the likes of Randolph Wagner, Jamal Pedro, Keifer Brandt and Phillip Rowley to shift the balance in their favorite, while Darren Benjamin, Carl Tudor, Mark Jhalu and Okeene Fraser will be tasked with ensuring a Leopold win.
In the third match, National heavyweight, Sparta Boss, oppose the pride of the East Coast of Demerara BV at 22:00hrs. The East La Penitence unit are considered one of the favorites in the event and will be expected to overturn the challenge of their impending opponent led by their star studded cast of Gregory Richardson, Sheldon Shepherd, Eusi Phillips and Ryan Hackett.
Meanwhile, the final match of the evening can be described as a virtual final when Bent Street lock horns with Back Circle from 23:00hrs.
For many pundits Bent Street are viewed as the safe choice for a final’s appearance due to their plethora of national team players such as Daniel Wilson, Clive Nobrega, Pernell Schultz, Akel Clarke and William Europe.
However, Back Circle are a giant in their own regards and with the fate of the entire East Ruimveldt community on their shoulders, a clinical showing will be expected from the quintet of Selwyn Williams, Stephon McLean, Jermin Beckles, Delon Kelly and surprise package Trayon Bobb.
According to an official release from tournament coordinator Three Peat Promotions, “The excitement and anticipation in the air and within the respective communities cannot be described. The teams are well oiled and geared to produce thrilling action which will certainly entertain and provide drama for the large spectatorship.”
The release further said, “This level of preparation and anticipation certainly bodes well for the remainder of the knockout section as the team’s are desperate for a place in the final four and chance at the coveted prize of one million dollar. Once again we have to thank the sponsors for coming on board and making this a reality which is certainly a blessing for the players who deserve the recognition for their efforts throughout the years.”
The correspondence added, “The fans must also be commended for their unwavering support during this period because without them, the format would not have grown in this exponential manner and would not have provided the platform for players to be compensated for their talents. Fans and players are of similar importance as sponsors.”
The release concluded, ”Finally the lawmen must also be praised for their contributions in making the tournament incident free by carrying out their duties admirably. They have provided the requisite security needed to allow for an enabling environment for officials, spectators and players.” The grand finale will occur on December 14th at the same venue.
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