GABF working overtime to meet deadline for Caricom c/ships

Up to late yesterday afternoon the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) was working overtime trying to meet today’s deadline for payment of registration fees for Guyana’s participation at the regional basketball championships in August.

The Caribbean Basketball Confederation’s (CBC) deadline for registration of senior national male and female teams wishing to participate in the upcoming championships was set as March 1, 2007.

The CBC senior male and female Caribbean championships will be held in Puerto Rico, with the male competition set for August 6-10 in Caguas and the female tournament billed for August 11-14 in Morovis.

Each participating country is required to pay a registration fee of US$1,000 per team.

Guyana will have to fork up US$2,000 for the two teams the country plans to send to the 19th instalment of the championships.

Payment of the fees has been a major stumbling block for the GABF over the years, which has resulted in Guyana being unable to participate in the tournament since 2000, the year when the senior male team placed third in the 12th Caribbean tournament held in Barbados.

One would have to go back further to 1998, when the senior national female team last participated at the CBC competition in Belize.

Readjusting to the regional stage will be quite a task if Guyana is reintroduced to the regional tournament this year.

President of the GABF, Godwin McPherson told Stabroek Sport yesterday that the federation is currently working in tandem with overseas-based Paul and Patrick Haynes to come up with the necessary fees.

“We are working out something with Twinkillas.com that will enable us to pay the registration fee if not today (yesterday), tomorrow (today),” the GABF president said, adding that he wants to be very careful with this matter.

The Haynes brothers operate Twinkillas.com, a website aimed at developing basketball in Guyana. The duo is lobbying on the website for basketball uniforms and other sponsorship needs for the male and female national teams.

Asked about the composition of the teams, McPherson said that Guyana’s national team has always been a composition of overseas and locally-based players. He said that would not change with the 2007 teams.

“We got until August to decide on our teams. We have always had international and local players making up our team,” he said. “I am in steady contact with Andrew (Ifill) and Lorenzo (Withrite).”

Both Ifill and Withrite are plying their trade in Europe – Ifill plays in Romania and Withrite plays in Belgium.

Stabroek Sport understands that a few players from the Washington DC Jammers who are eligible have also expressed their availability to the GABF for the upcoming tournament.

The GABF is intent on selecting the best possible teams to represent the country. The local women’s team will largely be composed of US-based players along with some outstanding local women.

Guyana’s local male players will have two opportunities this month to impress the selection panel when the GABF hosts an inter- association and national inter-club tournament this month.

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