– organizers up prize money
By Rawle Toney
The top teams from Linden and Georgetown will now have to wait one more week before they can go at each other since the Next Level Entertainment basketball tournament which was proposed to start on March 1 will now get underway on Friday, March 5 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
The organizers said they made this change because they had some setbacks with regards to the venue and some other unforeseen circumstances. However, they have raised the prize money for the tournament as a way of thanking the clubs for being patient. First prize is now $300,000, second $200,000, third place $100,000 and fourth place $50,000. They also said that after reviewing the tournament, it was felt that the prize money should be more lucrative because the NLE tournament is Guyana’s biggest basketball event.
Meanwhile, the organizers have officially released the fixtures for this year’s tournament which is highly anticipated. The talk in the local basketball fraternity is the clash between defending champions Courts Pacesetters and first time winners Kashif and Shanghai Kings.
The Kings who have not played competitive basketball since last year’s classic where they were beaten by Pacesetters in the finals have come into the tournament as the lowest ranked team from Linden. They were recently relegated by the Linden Amateur BasketballAssociation after failing to participate in the current senior club championship.
But with the team having some of the country’s top players, they will always be considered a top contender. The Linden versus Georgetown set up by the organizers is expected to revive the rivalry that many basketball fans have been missing over the past year.
Apart from the lucrative prizes and bragging rights, players will also be vying for selection to Guyana’s national team since the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) has sent in their bid to host the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships.
This too has brought a more profound interest to the tournament, since the general public will be aiming to see what Guyana has to offer locally.
The fixture for the first round of the tournament reads:
Friday, March 6 Game 1: Wismar Pistons v/s Demerara Panthers
Game 2: Dyna’s Ravens v/s Amelia’s Ward Ballers
Sunday, March 8 Game 1: Amelia’s Ward Jets v/s Maccabees
Game 2: Victory Valley Royals v/s Bounty Colts
Tuesday, March 10 Game 1: Patriots v/s Beepat Scorpions
Game 2: Alleyene’s Retrieve Raiders v/s Nets
Wednesday, March 11 Game 1: GTS Bulls v/s Pepsi Sonics
Game 2: Courts Pacesetters v/s Kashif and Shanghai