History was created as Guyana overcame a 14 deficit first half deficit to defeat Bermuda 59-56, sweeping their international series 3-0 on Saturday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on Homestretch Avenue.
Inspired by a raucous near capacity gathering, the hosts once again rallied in the third quarter after trailing 32-19 following an abysmal half. Similar to their previous outing, the Guyanese would initiate their high press defensive style to disrupt Bermuda’s offence.
With the visitors’ offensive rhythm out of sync, the Guyanese would feed off the momentum of the rabid gathering to outscore Bermuda 19-13 to go into the final quarter trailing at 45-38.
Shelroy Thomas began the rally with five points in the period inclusive of a three pointer while Dominic Vicente netted a three point shot and Ryan Gullen and Jermin Slater chipped in with two points each from layups.
Siblings Jason and Jonathan Lowe were principal scorers for the visitors with five and four points respectively. Faced with a more manageable deficit, the Guyanese would pull within three points at 51-48 following a 10-6 run with 5:46 left on the clock. Gullen capped off the surge with a four point play after being fouled beyond the right side of the arc upon drilling a three pointer to send the crowd into a frenzy. He would then convert the free-throw to make it a one possession game.
The home side would then equalize at 51-51 as fellow sharpshooter Thomas nailed a three pointer at 4:59, bringing the crowd to their feet amid chants of Guyana.
Gullen would then typify Guyana’s current dominance in period as he unleashed a monstrous block on center Deon Jones as he attempted to layup at 3:29.
Feeding off the presence of their support, Guyana would take the lead for the first time at 54-53 as Jason Squires struck their third three pointer of the period at 2:40.
Thomas would further ignite the masses, deflating Bermuda with a silky layup during a fast break as he skipped past two defenders to push the score to 56-53 with 1:30 remaining in the matchup.
Jones would then pull Bermuda within touching distance at 56-55 after netting a layup with 1:15 left. However that would be the closest they would get to the home side as Travis Burnette registered Guyana’s fourth three of the period, pushing them ahead 59-55 with 59 seconds left.
Tormentor of the home side throughout the series, Bermuda’s leading scorer Sullivan Phillips would be given a chance to cut the deficit to two from the free-throw line with 14 seconds remaining.
However Phillips would score only one of his attempts as Guyana secured possession. Slater would then be given an opportunity to put the game beyond Bermuda’s reach as he was sent to the foul line with three seconds remaining.
Despite Slater missing both shots, Gullen would recover the ball through a rebounds and was sent to the line as well with 1.2 seconds left.
He would miss the first attempt before intentionally missing the second as time expired to seal Guyana’s comeback.
Gullen top scored for Guyana with 13 points and two blocks while Thomas registered 12 points and nine rebounds and Burnette netted nine points. Jonathan Lowe led the losers with 12 points while Jason Lowe, Chris Crumpler and Phillips netted 11, 11 and seven points respectively.
Following the conclusion of the fixture, the visitors were presented with mementos on behalf of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation. On the individual side, Burnette was adjudged to be the series most valuable player.
It in the earlier minutes of the fixture, the visitors raced off to an early lead as they outscored Guyana 18-13. Phillips and Jeron Hayley led the early push with six points each while Crumpler scored three points.
Leading the attack for the hosts in the period was Gullen and Vicente who netted five and three points respectively. Bermuda would then build on their early momentum, outscoring Guyana once more by a 14-6 margin.
Jason Lowe led all scorers in the period with six points while Crumpler shot his way to three points. Gullen top scored in the period for then struggling side with three points.