Dyna’s Ravens Head Coach Darcel Harris is confident that his charges will successfully defend their Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) ‘Road to Mecca’ championship when the event starts on Sunday.
Ravens clinched the event’s inaugural title, crushing Linden unit Retrieve Raiders by an 85-57 score line in the finale at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on March 23, 2014. They will begin their title defence against Smithfield Rockers at the sports hall on Thursday February 19.
Speaking exclusively with Stabroek Sport, the former national player-turned tactician said “We are extremely confident of repeating. We’ve had good practice sessions so far but we are not taking any team lightly. From the very first game, we will be going hard and trying to repeat as champions.”
Questioned about the areas that will need to be improved in order for this feat to be accomplished, the recently appointed national head coach said, “Basically we focus most times on the coaching ability of the players and the on-court discipline.” Quizzed about the teams that are a threat to his side’s aspirations he said, “Looking at the fixtures and once we get past the Berbice team, we will be possibly coming against Nets. That is a tough team that made the last tournament final in December which was the Phillip George Legacy, they are an improved team.”
Harris also said, “If we should get past them, we could then be up against Pacesetters. Those games are all hard games.” He further added, “If we are complacent, all the teams will give us a run for our money. We are guarding against complacency and we will be taking it game by game. We have not seen these teams in a while, we don’t know if they acquired new players or strategies so we will be scouting the teams throughout the tournament.”
Asked about his expectations of the event, Harris said, “I expect a pretty competitive tournament and I see the fans coming out to support their teams which always make a difference. I just expect it to be a good and competitive tournament.”