Following four nights of thrilling action, Uprising, the lone hope of the East Coast Demerara district, face an uphill task in their pursuit of the Guinness Cage Streetball Championship on Friday at the Haslington Market Tarmac.
The youthful Golden Grove outfit, who are the region’s Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ Champion, has the weight of the entire zone on their shoulders, as they prepare to battle traditional giant Broad Street in the semi-final round.
Led by the talented Les Charles Critchlow, Uprising has shown no fear against their seasoned opponents, following impressive victories over Blazers of Beterverwagting [BV] and Plaisance in the elimination rounds.
Their energetic approach to the matches pose a threat to all opponents, and with the dangerous quartet of Shamar Scott, Phillip Williams, David Wilson and Seretsi Huntley aiding the play-making skills of Critchlow, Uprising are a formidable side.
However, Broad Street is one of the most experienced sides in this version and they’ve already demonstrated that it will take something special to thwart their advances to the finale.
Siblings Rocky and Jimmy Gravesande are seasoned campaigners especially in the latter stages of competitions and knows what is required to get over the proverbial final hurdle.
Their supporting cast will feature the equally talented duo of tournament top-shot Jamal Cozier and the dogged Kevin Cummings, individuals who were vital during their 1-0 victories over North East La Penitence and Alexander Village respectively in the previous rounds.
Meanwhile, the clash of the night will pit eternal rivals Sparta Boss and Leopold Street on centre-stage, in a match that is expected to captivate the large gathering that will descend on the venue.
The two teams have a rich history, with every meeting producing fireworks and excitement for the viewership.
The previous two meetings resulted in penalty shoot-out semi-final wins for Sparta Boss in the GT Beer ‘Keep Your Five Alive’ Competition and the Guinness Greatest of the Streets’ Georgetown Championship.
Although history will be on the side of the Spartans, who are based in North East La Penitence, form is certainly in the corner of Leopold Street.
Okanie Fraser has proven to be the leader and talisman for the undefeated Leopold Street, who feature a very potent core of Mark Jhalu, Carl Tudor, Darren Benjamin and Tyrese Forde.
The aforementioned foursome was important during their wins over Albouystown and Ol Skool Ballers, the previous holder of the coveted title.
On the other hand, Sparta Boss, who have stuttered in the earlier group rounds following two defeats, have started to hit their best form due to dogged victories over Back Circle and Avocado Ballers. Golden Jaguars International Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson, spearheads an intimidating lineup consisting Jermin Junor, the incomparable Sheldon Shepherd, Courtney Britton and the versatile Eusi Phillips. Fans can expect a monumental night of action on Friday.
The tournament is being organized to forge integration among the participating communities in an effort to create a better understanding among its inhabitants.
Among the entities in support of the cause are: Banks DIH under its Guinness and Power Wine brands, Clarks footwear giants Chetsons, E- Networks Inc., KSM Investments, Yhip’s Bakery, Brass Aluminum & Cast Iron Foundry [BACIF], Ray’s Auto Sales, Insurance Brokers Guyana Limited [IGBL], Y.K. Investments, Trophy Stall, Express Shipping, Woodpecker Products, National Sports Commission, ‘C’ Division of the Guyana Police Force, Jai Signs & Auto Designs, Gaming Authority, Julius Variety Store and C & C Prestigious Styles.