Revenge could not have come any sweeter for the Guyana male basketball team which stunned the French Guiana side 64-60 in front of their home crowd at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on Friday night.
French Guiana jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter but the home team refused to be left behind and fought back hard to trail 14-19 at the end.
The local boys finally took a narrow one-point lead four minutes into the second quarter, but French Guiana would not let them get away and the game saw several lead changes.
At half time, French Guiana led 37-34.
While Guyana’s captain, Dave Causeway, lead the way with his 18 points, Travis Burnett stepped up and played a very instrumental role in Guyana’s victory with a 12-point performance.
Burnett broke down the impenetrable zone defence of the French Guiana side with ankle-breaking crossovers that took him straight to the rim at times creating opportunities for his teammates.
Marlon Chesney and John Fraser contributed nine and eight points respectively while Jermaine Slater, Kevin Evans and Javon Nelson banged their bodies on the board.
French Guiana captain, Frederic Herman, scored 21 points while team-mate Cederic Munde chipped in with 10 points. Although some may have considered Guyana’s victory as an upset, the coaching staff were not surprised.
Team manager, Chris Bowman, told Stabroek Sport that the Guyana team was overflowing with talent and managed to walk away with the victory over a tough French side despite the team not playing to the best of its ability.
Coach, Mark Agard, told Stabroek Sport that the victory was achieved through some technical adjustments to the team.
“We took an up tempo game to our opponents much bigger in size and this was well executed by our players. We then managed to shut them down of the defensive end by switching to a zone and putting the game in the hands of the French shooters.”