The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) launched its inaugural National Club Championships with the support of ANSA McAL and Digicel yesterday at the Waterchris Hotel.
The beverage company and the telecommunications giant have come on board as the sponsors of the tournament which will begin this Saturday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
At the head table for yesterday’s launching was President of GABF David Patterson, GABF Vice President Dawn Holder, GABF Public Relations Officer (PRO) Michael Burnett, ANSA McAL PRO Darshanie Yusuf and Digicel’s Business Development Manager Gavin Hope, along with the Tournament Commissioner Cecil Chin.
According to Patterson, one of the aims of the tournament is to identify players for possible selection to the national team to participate in the Caribbean Basketball Championships, which will be held in The Bahamas in July.
Yuusuf, a representative of ANSA McAL, who is sponsoring the tournament through their Mackeson Brand, indicated that her company was “very pleased” to be partnering with the GABF and that she looked forward to a very exciting tournament.
“We love to be able to assist people, young people especially in gaining opportunities and this is one of the ways, through sports, that we see that we can do that,” said Yusuf.
Speaking on behalf of Digicel, Hope challenged the GABF to organize and execute the tournament to the highest possible standard.
“It’s important for me and as a representative of Digicel for this tournament to be executed at the highest level of professionalism… so I want to task these guys [GABF]with doing their best in getting the tournament off the ground,” said Hope.
The tournament is a straight elimination competition for eight of the top basketball teams in the country. Games will be played on the weekends of April 2-3, April 9-10 and April 23.
The GABF has invited the top four teams from the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association, three top teams from the Linden Amateur Basketball Association and the top team from the Berbie Amateur Basketball Association.
The teams identified for the tournament by their respective associations are: Dyna Ravens, Courts Pacesetters, Maccabees and Beepat Scorpions from Georgetown; Victory Valley Royals, Wismar Pistons and Retrieve Royals from Linden and the New Amsterdam Warriors, representing Berbice.
The teams have been placed into two groups with Ravens, Piston, Warriors and Maccabees in Group A and the remaining teams in Group B.
The winning team will be presented with a lien trophy along with a winning trophy and medals. The second and third place teams will also receive trophies and medals, while the fourth place team will receive a plaque.
There will also be prizes for the most valuable player, best defensive player and best coach and top placing teams will also receive cash incentives.
Tickets for the event cost $300 and will be available at the gate, while no admission fee will be charged for children under 15 years of age. Games are scheduled to begin at 7pm each tournament night.