The fifth edition of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) ‘Road to Mecca’ Club Championship, was officially launched yesterday at the Palm Court Sports Bar, Main Street.
Slated to commence tomorrow at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, the event will feature 12 teams from the Georgetown, Berbice and Linden Amateur Basketball Associations.
The competing teams will be divided into two groups of six, with the resulting group winners and runners-up advancing to the semi-final round.
Group-1 comprises two time defending champion Colts, Half Mile Bulls [Linden], Plaisance Guardians, Retrieve Raiders [Linden], Ravens and the lone Berbice representative (winner between Canje Knights and Hopetown Steelers).
Group-2 consists of Victory Valley Royals [Linden], Nets, Pacesetters, Amelia’s Ward Jets [Linden], Eagles and Kobras.
The other playing dates are 8th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 20th, 21st, with the semifinals slated for the 22nd, and the grand finale penciled for the 28th.
GABF President Nigel Hinds revealed that the tournament will be used as the platform to identify and select the locally based players for the impending Caribbean Championship slated for Suriname in June.
Hinds further added that he envisions a very competitive tournament with several sides possessing the quality to secure the title.
Meanwhile, GABF Vice President Michael Singh stated that the interest for the competition amongst the teams and fandom is higher than the previous editions, and that the aim is for the competition to be structured in a semi-professional manner.
Winner of the event will pocket $600,000 and a trophy, while the runner-up will receive $400,000 and the corresponding accolade. The third place finisher receives $300,000 and a trophy.
On the individual side, $200,000 will awarded to the Most Valuable Player (MVP), while $100,000 each will be awarded to the individuals that secure the Most Points, Most Rebounds and Most Improved Player accolades, respectively.