Oct 27, 2020 Sports
By Calvin Chapman
President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), Mike Singh, has informed Kaieteur Sport of his optimism that Guyana’s Senior Men’s Team stands a realistic chance of qualifying for the 2023 Americup tournament, once the qualifying event get the green-light.
Singh, who was elected head of the GABF last year, is set on doing all that he can along with his executive committee to ensure Guyana’s basketball reaches the next level after the previous administration which was headed by Nigel Hinds oversaw the team’s first regional championship win after 37 years.
Guyana sealed their first Americup Qualifiers appearance after winning the John Yates Trophy in 2018 after thumping Antigua & Barbuda 83-70 in the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Men’s Championship final. However, they didn’t perform well in the qualifiers winning just one game in their group.
However, the lackluster performance was due to the fact that the team was dejected after missing out on their star player Delroy James, who was fresh from winning the FIBA Intercontinental Championship, but couldn’t play for Guyana due to some passport issues. In addition, the team that featured four teenagers in 2018 was a bit inexperienced.
Fast forward to today, Head Coach Junior Hercules shares the same sentiment with Singh. He believes that if team Guyana can play at full strength, the Golden Arrowhead will be represented for the first time at the Biennial FIBA Americup tournament that features 12 teams which qualify from North & South America and the Caribbean.
It is hard to argue with the fact that James, who has played in the NBA and European Leagues, will bring a wealth of experience to the side. Furthermore, Co-Captain Anthony Moe is currently one of the best players in the Nicaraguan Pro League (LSB) and Captain Stanton Rose has been developing with NJCAA Division 1 outfit Panola Ponies with a move to the NCAA on the horizon.
Kevon Wiggins, who was also part of the history making CBC Championship winning team in 2018 has recently completed a move to NJCAA division 1 side Lamar College and the skill and determination of Ray Victor cannot be underscored.
Those mentioned players and other consistent performers in the national set up will make for an exciting lineup when Guyana competes in the Americup qualifying tourney which is yet to have a specific date and venue to be contested determined.
Guyana will play in the FIBA Americup 2023 qualifying tournament although no CBC championship (which serves as the qualifying event for the FIBA Americup qualifier) will be competed in 2020 due to the pandemic.
FIBA will use the current rankings to decide the CBC representatives which puts current champions Guyana along with Antigua and Barbuda (2018 runners-up) into the Americup qualifiers.
The men from the ‘land of many waters’ finished third during their first appearance that was in February 2019 in Colombia, a performance that Head Coach Hercules had noted his players should be proud of after citing the different challenges.
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